Saturday, July 16
The head of Turkey's armed forces has been rescued after being held hostage during an attempted coup by a military faction which used tanks and attack helicopters to try to seize power overnight, a senior Turkish official said. Hulusi Akar had been held by rebel soldiers during the attempted coup, Turkish broadcasters said
Turkish authorities have detained 754 members of the armed forces after an overnight coup attempt by a faction within the military that used tanks and attack helicopters to try to overthrow the government, a senior official said.
Turkey's military headquarters are now held by pro-government forces but small groups of rebel soldiers behind an overnight coup attempt are still resisting and control some military helicopters, a senior Turkish official said on Saturday.
The official said the pro-coup soldiers did not control any fighters jets and that the helicopters they were still using would be brought down swiftly. Attacks on parliament and the presidential palace had largely stopped, the official said.
A second official said 29 colonels and five generals had been removed from their posts in the wake of the coup attempt.
Erdogan supporters attacked a group of soldiers who had surrendered on an Istanbul bridge after taking part in an attempted coup overnight, before police intervened to rescue them, a Reuters witness said. Erdogan had repeatedly urged his supporters to take to the streets to help put down the coup attempt, which he said had been carried out by a faction of the armed forces loyal to his arch foe, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen
An email from the Turkish military General Staff's press office address said on Saturday the faction of officers behind an attempted military coup overnight was still determinedly fighting all those who try to oppose it. Calling itself the Peace at Home Movement, the faction also called on people to stay indoors for their own safety.
At least 60 people were killed during the attempted military coup in Turkey overnight, a senior official said on Saturday.
Turkish authorities detained 336 people after military officers staged a coup attempt overnight, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. The arrests occurred across the country, he told broadcaster CNN Turk
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday urged his supporters to remain on the streets until the situation normalizes after military officers attempted a coup.
Addressing a crowd of thousands of supporters waving flags at Istanbul's main airport, Erdogan said the government remained at the helm. He also said disturbances continued in the capital Ankara and he hoped they would end soon.
He added that flights by flag carrier Turkish Airlines had resumed.
European Council President Donald Tusk called for a swift return to Turkey's constitutional order, after a coup attempt there.
"Turkey is a key partner for the European Union. The EU fully supports the democratically elected government, the institutions of the country and the rule of law," Tusk said at regional summit in Mongolia.
"We call for a swift return to Turkey's constitutional order," he said.
Around 50 soldiers involved in an attempted military coup in Turkey surrendered on one of the bridges across the Bosphorus in Istanbul on Saturday, abandoning their tanks with their hands raised in the air, live footage on CNN Turk showed.
A Reuters witness earlier saw tens of other pro-coup soldiers surrendering to armed police after being surrounded in Istanbul's central Taksim square.
Turkish authorities shot down a military helicopter apparently operated by soldiers trying to stage a coup as it fired on the offices of state satellite operator Turksat in the capital Ankara on Saturday, broadcaster CNN Turk said.
Bomb attacks on Turkey's parliament are continuing, a senior Turkish official said on Saturday, adding that rebel soldiers have been warned they will be shot down if they attempt to use more military aircraft.
The official also said there were more fatalities in Istanbul, in addition to the 42 killed in Ankara, in an attempted coup by a section of the military.
Forty-two people were killed in the Turkish capital Ankara during an attempted coup that started on Friday night, a senior Turkish official said, confirming an earlier report from state-run Anadolu Agency.
Seventeen of those killed were police officers, Anadolu said.
Soldiers took control of Istanbul's main Ataturk airport on Saturday shortly after President Tayyip Erdogan landed there and condemned what he said was an attempted coup by a faction in the military.
The state-run Anadolu news agency said operations at the airport were back to normal and that flights would begin again at 06:00 am (0300 GMT).
The attempted coup by a section of Turkey's military was an act of treason and is a reason to "clean up" the armed forces, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on early on Saturday, hours after the armed forces attempted to overthrow him.
Erodgan also said in comments broadcast live on private station NTV that the attempted coup was the work of followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a cleric Erdogan has long accused of attempting to use his followers in the judiciary and military to overthrow the government.
Hillary Clinton has called for support of Turkey's elected civilian government.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan emerged to crowds of supporters at Istanbul's main Ataturk airport early on Saturday after what officials said had been a coup attempt by a faction within the armed forces, footage on broadcaster NTV showed.
Turkey's Fox TV meanwhile broadcast a recording of Erdogan speaking earlier in the night, saying an uprising had been attempted against the solidarity and unity of the country but that no power was above the national will.
Turkish private broadcaster CNN Turk halted its live news broadcast early on Saturday, as a presenter said soldiers had entered the studio control room.
The channel showed a live shot of its empty red and white studio. The sound of gunfire was heard on the audio, as well as the sound of a crowd outside the station.
Two loud explosions were hear near Taksim square in central Istanbul, Reuters witnesses reported early on Saturday.
Around 30 Turkish soldiers who were part of a faction attempting to carry out a military coup surrendered their weapons after being surrounded by armed police in Istanbul's central Taksim square, a Reuters witness said.
The soldiers handed over their guns and were taken away in police vans as a fighter jet repeatedly screeched overhead at low altitude, causing a boom that shook surrounding buildings and shattered windows.
Turkey has closed border crossings with Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Foreign ministry reported.
Turkish parliament members have told Reuters over the phone that they are hiding in shelters at the parliament.
An additional two explosions were seen at the parliament building in Ankara, according to a Reuters witness.
A turkish official said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's plane has landed in Istanbul.
Staff at Istanbul's Ataturk airport hope to resume international departures soon, European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol said early on Saturday.
All arriving flights are being diverted until then because there is no room for any more aircraft at the congested airport following the suspension of departures since 2031 GMT on Friday, the agency said in a bulletin to airlines.
"Ataturk hope to re-commence international departures shortly, but until they do, all inbound flights to Ataturk are being diverted," Eurocontrol said, although the "situation is unclear".
The Ankara air traffic control centre is operating normally, it added. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim however told Turkey's NTV news channel that Ankara airspace is closed.
The situation in Turkey is largely under control, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, adding that an attempted coup against the government was an act of rebellion by followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Yildirim also told broadcaster NTV that a no-fly zone had been declared over the capital, Ankara.
A US-based organisation close to Gulen has denied involvement.
Turkish state broadcaster TRT resumed broadcasting on Saturday after going off air during what officials said was an attempted coup by a faction within the military, with its staff describing being taken hostage by the plotters.
A bomb has hit Turkey's parliament building in Ankara, state-run Anadolu Agency said, and Reuters witnesses in Istanbul reported the sound of a large blast echoing through the city.
US President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday night about events in Turkey and agreed that all parties there should support the democratically elected government, show restraint and avoid any violence or bloodshed, the White House said.
"The Secretary underscored that the State Department will continue to focus on the safety and security of US citizens in Turkey. The president asked the secretary to continue to keep him updated as the situation unfolds," the White House said in a statement.
Turkish fighter jets shot down a military helicopter over the capital Ankara that was being used by plotters attempting a coup, broadcaster NTV said on Saturday.
Separately, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said 17 police were killed at special forces headquarters in Ankara. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm that report.
A loud explosion was heard in the Turkish capital Ankara early on Saturday, Reuters witnesses at the scene said.
Broadcaster NTV reported that Turkish fighter jets brought down a helicopter used by plotters in a coup attempt.
The foreign ministry sent a message to all citizens in turkey, late Friday night, telling them not to leave their homes and hotels.
The message came in response to an attempted military coup where Military forces have taken control of strategic points in the country.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan urged people to take to the streets to protest against what he described as a coup attempt by a minority faction within the military, vowing that it would meet with a "necessary response".
He told a CNN Turk reporter via cellphone that Turkish people must gather in public squares to show their response to the attempted military takeover, in comments broadcast live on television.
Erdogan said he believed the attempted coup would be over within a "short time" and said those responsible would pay a heavy price in the courts.
He said the act was encourage by the "parallel structure" - his shorthand for followers of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who he has repeatedly accused of attempting to foment an uprising among his followers in the judiciary and the military.
The US State Department on Friday told U.S. citizens in Turkey to "shelter in place and stay indoors" citing Turkey's government saying that elements of the Turkish army were attempting an uprising
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government are still in power and will not tolerate attempts to undermine democracy, a Turkish presidential source said.
Friday, July 15
All flights from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport have been cancelled, a Reuters witness said on Friday, citing a pilot, after the military said it had taken control of the government.
Turkey's armed forces said on Friday they had taken power in the country to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said those responsible for what he described as an attempted coup by a faction within the military on Friday would pay the highest price.
A group within Turkey's military has attempted to overthrow the government and security forces have been called in to "do what is necessary," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Friday.
"Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command," Yildirim said in comments broadcast by private channel NTV.
"The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so."
Isntabul's Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge were both closed on Friday, local television channels reported, without giving a reason.
Dogan News Agency footage showed cars and buses being diverted.
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