ISTANBUL: Forces loyal to the Turkish government fought on Saturday to crush the remnants of a military coup attempt which crumbled after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan’s call to take to the streets and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.
More than 194 people — including 41 police, 47 civilians, two military officers and 104 described as “coup plotters” — were killed in clashes that erupted since Friday after a faction of the armed forces attempted to seize power using tanks and attack helicopters, some strafing the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in Ankara, others seizing a major bridge in Istanbul.
Erdogan appeared to accuse the coup plotters of trying to kill him, and promised to purge the armed forces which in the past have staged a number of successful coups. “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.”
- Erdogan calls coup bid “an act of treason”
- Coup appears to crumble, around 1,500 arrested for the uprising
- 90 people killed across the country
- Tanks roll out on streets, gunfire reported in Ankara and Istanbul
- Turkish military issues statement, says it is “restoring order”
Turkish authorities have already detained around 1,500 members of the armed forces, officials said. Chief of staff Hulusi Akar, who had been reported held hostage by the rebels, has been rescued, a senior official said.