Military coup attempted in Turkey

  • 16/07/2016
Turkish military stand in front of the Republic Monument at the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey (Reuters)
Turkish military stand in front of the Republic Monument at the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey (Reuters)

A total of 194 people were killed in the Turkey coup attempt, the country's acting military chief says.

Umit Dundar says 47 civilians and 104 military personnel involved in the coup are among the dead.

The other victims were 41 police officers and two soldiers not involved in the plot.

The Turkish military announced late Friday that it was seizing power to restore order.

Aerial bombings, military blockades and clashes between mobs and armed forces were reported across Turkey overnight, but the government has since largely quelled the uprising and arrested more than 1500 military personnel.

"Those who betray their state and country will not go unpunished," Mr Dundar said.

First Army commander General Dundar was appointed acting head of the military after Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar went missing.

Mr Akar has since been "rescued from captivity", a government official said.

Forces loyal to the government fought on Saturday to crush the remnants of the coup which crumbled after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.

Turkey's Fox TV meanwhile broadcast a recording of Mr 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 people's will.

Footage and photos on social media show unarmed protesters in confrontations with the military.

Former military legal adviser Muharrem Kose was identified as the key figure behind the coup attempt, news agency Anadolu reported.

The faction of the armed forces which tried to seize power used tanks and attack helicopters. Some strafed the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in the capital, Ankara, and others seized a major bridge in Istanbul.

Mr Erdogan appeared to accuse the plotters of trying to kill him and said he would purge the armed forces, which in the past have staged a number of successful coups, although not for more than 30 years.

"They will pay a heavy price for this," he said.

"This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army."