Military Coup Attempt in Turkey: Erdogan Defiant as Violence Continues

Military Coup Attempt in Turkey: Erdogan Defiant as Violence Continues

A man covered with blood stands near Bosphorus bridge during the coup attempt in Istanbul. (Credit: AFP/Bulent Kilic)
A man covered with blood stands near Bosphorus bridge during the coup attempt in Istanbul. (Credit: AFP/Bulent Kilic)

The latest:

– At least 17 policemen were killed in the coup attempt, reports AFP

– At least 90 people were killed in Turkey, with more than 1,000 injured during violence

– An explosion struck Turkey’s parliament building in Ankara, reports Anadolu

– Erdogan, Turkey’s President, is safe and landed in Istanbul, has called on citizens to rise up.

– All major opposition parties have released statements rejecting the coup

– Turkey’s Prime Minister has rejected the coup as an ‘act of terror’ and an ‘insult to our soldiers’. The Prime Minister said 130 soldiers had been arrested.

Turkish President Erdogan landed in Istanbul hours after a military coup attempt was launched. The attempted coup, which is still on-going, is struggling to keep up momentum, with at least 754 coup “plotters” arrested and 90 people killed.

Speaking in a televised conference, the President called the coup “a gift from God” as it would help “cleanse the military of gang members.” The President added that at least 100 perpetrators had been arrested and that order was being restored.

During the televised conference, the President also said that fighter jets had been dispatched to combat military helicopters being used to target various locations across Turkey. The President said that the hotel he had been staying at in the south of Turkey was bombed shortly after he left for Istanbul.

In a statement read on television, the unidentified group said that a “peace council” would now run the country. The military group also imposed martial law and declared curfew across Turkey.

In addition, the military group, which has flown jets over the capital city, says that the peace council will “reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms.”

However, violence quickly broke out, with military helicopters controlled by the coup forces opening fire on a number of locations in Ankara before being shot down. Reports from AFP also suggest military forces opened fire on civilians, resulting in a number of injuries.

According to prosecutors cited by NTV, 42 people were killed in Ankara alone.

Thousands of people are still on the streets protesting against the military group. Photographs and videos have gone viral of both citizen and police arrests of military officers involved in the coup.

Soldiers detained by police (credit: Anadolu)
Soldiers detained by police (credit: Anadolu)

Helicopter Bombings

Earlier, Turkey’s Parliament building in Ankara was “bombed” as opposition towards the coup continued to grow.

According to members of parliament cited by Anadolu, some people were injured or killed in the bombing of the parliament.

At least 17 policemen were also killed as a military group took to the streets in Turkey, deploying soldiers at strategic points in Istanbul.

The 17 policemen were reportedly killed after a helicopter opened fire on a police department in Ankara.

Calls to protest “the traitors”

In statements released from a “safe location” as the coup attempt broke out, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that his country will “over come this” and that the coup was by a “minority” within the military. The President, who made the statement over Facetime, said that the perpetrators will be punished.

The Turkish President called on Turkish citizens to rise up against the military group.

Following the calls of protest, many took to the streets to demonstrate against the military. Videos even showed some citizens kicking military soldiers out of buildings and police officers detaining soldiers.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Prime Minister called the coup a “failed” act of “terror” and urged citizens to rise up to protect democracy.

According to one official statement, Turkey’s President is seeking asylum in Germany.

Statements against the coup have also been released by the Special Forces, Naval and Intelligence commanders. Turkey’s Intelligence chief said that the coup had failed and that order would be restored.

Confusion and chaos

As news of the coup spread, gunshots could be heard around the Presidential Palace in Turkey. Queues of Turkish citizens also formed at supermarkets and gas stations, with people hoping to stock up on resources.

Meanwhile, all flights from Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, one of the world’s busiest airports, have been cancelled, reported Reuters.

Eye-witnesses say many have no idea what is going on in Turkey. The coup, staged late at night, has left people relying on social media for updates.

Responding to news of the coup attempt, world leaders have been largely silent. U.S. President Obama released a statement hours after the news first broke out “agreeing that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected Government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed”.

Turkey Military Coup Attempt 'Fails'
Military Coup Attempt in Turkey Underway

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