Over 250 killed in failed coup attempt in Turkey

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Turkey
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In an unsuccessful coup attempt apparently by elements of the Turkish Armed Forces in Istanbul and Ankara, 265 people were killed and 1440 were injured, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım reported on Saturday. Following the incident, 2,839 soldiers and officers were detained and, according to another military official, 104 coup plotters were killed. General Hulusi Akar, held by the rebels, was later freed.

File photo of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 2016.
Image: Cancillería del Ecuador.

On Friday, the rebels declared martial law claiming to have “taken control of the country” and said Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s government was responsible for damaging Turkey’s secular tradition. They shut down Istanbul Atatürk Airport and blocked the two bridges over the Bosphorus, with gunfire and, by some reports, jets dropping bombs in Istanbul and Ankara. Social-networking websites were blocked in the country and news channel CNN stopped broadcasting. Tank fire and explosions were reported at the parliament.

Prime Minister Yıldırım declared a no-fly zone over Ankara. Erdoğan was in Marmaris during the coup attempt. Erdoğan after reaching Instanbul on Saturday, said, “Those who betrayed this country will pay for this treachery”((tr)) as he announced he would remain president.

General Zekai Aksakalli told NTV, “Those who are attempting a coup will not succeed. Our people should know that we will overcome this”. Erdoğan supporters were seen carrying the Turkish flag on the streets of Istanbul.

During Erdoğan’s address to citizens, coup supporters were seen surrendering, abandoning military tanks, given citizen opposition to the coup. Eight people fled the country seeking asylum in the Greek city of Alexandroupolis, according to Greek officials.

Officials claimed Fethullah Gülen, who is currently in the United States on an exile, was responsible for the coup; Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported Gülen condemned the attempt.


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