President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says attempts to overthrow him have failed and hundreds have been arrested, though some fighting continues
The picture from Turkey is clearer on Saturday morning, with president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan insisting he remains in charge after a night in which a military faction attempted to overthrow the government.
But pockets of violence continue, with some of those behind the coup claiming to be fighting on.
Here is what we know:
The attempted coup
• An attempted military coup has apparently been defeated in Turkey, in a bid to oust the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accusing him of undermining the country’s secular traditions.
• Erdoğan, who returned to Istanbul in the early hours of the morning from his holiday in the resort of Marmaris, said the attempted coup was “treason” undertaken by “a minority within our armed forces”.
• The president urged people to take to the streets in defence of the government, prompting chaotic scenes as thousands protested alongside tanks.
• Theprime minister, Binali Yildirim, said coup fighters using military helicopters would be shot down.
• There were mass surrenders in Istanbul, with about 50 soldiers on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul abandoning their tanks with their hands raised.
• The head of the armed forces, General Hulusi Akar, who was reportedly taken hostage, has been freed.
• But a pro-coup military faction insisted it would continue its fight and there were reports of ongoing clashes in Ankara, where a building in the parliamentary complex was bombed overnight.
Deaths and arrests
More than 190 people have been killed, according to General Umit Dundar, the acting chief of the general staff, including 41 police officers, two soldiers, 47 civilians and 104 people described as “coup plotters’. A further 1,440 people have been wounded.
Sixteen people involved in the attempted coup were killed in clashes at military police command, and 250 others arrested.
Separately, 13 soldiers who tried to storm the presidential palace in Ankara have been arrested.
In total, 2,839 members of the armed forces have been arrested, among them 29 colonels and five generals. Rear Admiral Nejat Atilla Demirhan and General Memduh Hakbilen, the chief of staff of Turkey’s command for the Aegean region, are said to be among those detained.
In a defiant address to supporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, Erdoğan said the armed forces needed to understand that they were not in charge of the state, saying the coup plotters had brought out tanks, but “my people” had taken them back.
In an earlier statement, the president said the failed coup represented an opportunity to “clean out” the armed forces.
He also accused “those in Pennsylvania” – that is, the cleric Fethullah Gülen and his supporters – of betraying the nation and orchestrating the coup.
Gülen denies involvement
Fethullah Gülen has rejected the claim that he was behind the coup:
I condemn, in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey. Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force.
As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations.”
US President Barack Obama urged all parties to back the “democratically elected” government.
Officials of the EU – Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Juncker and Federica Mogherini – issued a statement supporting the Turkish government:
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.”
• Steffen Seibert, spokesman for German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said on Saturday morning:
The democratic order in Turkey must be respected. Everything needs to be done to protect human lives.”
• The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said:
Military interference in the affairs of any state is unacceptable.”
• US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said:
We should all urge calm and respect for laws, institutions, and basic human rights and freedoms – and support for the democratically elected civilian government.”
The new British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, tweeted:
Turkey on Saturday
Yildirim has called an emergency meeting in parliament on Saturday.
Flights were diverted from Istanbul’s Ataturk airport and departures cancelled after reports of explosions there but are now resuming.
Turkey has closed border crossings to Bulgaria, which said it was beefing up its own border controls.
Media outlets including CNN Turk that were shut down by soldiers during the attempted coup are returning to the air.
Authorities in Turkey may be blocking or slowing access to social media networks including Twitter and Facebook.
– World News Report via EIN News