Turkey's failed coup: what we know

2016-07-18 14:23
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Dramatic images from a weekend of chaos in Turkey

From a failed coup attempt to thousands flooding the streets in support of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, here are the best images from a weekend of chaos in Turkey.

Ankara - Some 7 500 people have been detained in Turkey and almost 9 000 officials sacked after a failed coup at the weekend which has stunned the country.

Here is what we know so far about the dramatic events of Friday night and how the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has responded.

How did the coup attempt unfold?

Soldiers shut down two of the bridges spanning the Bosphorus in Istanbul at around 19:30 and shortly after, military jets were heard flying low in the capital Ankara.

At around 23:30, a group within the military announced it had seized control of Turkey and that the country was now under martial law. Troops appeared on the streets of Istanbul and Ankara.

Erdogan, addressing the nation via a FaceTime call to the CNN Turk television channel, urged people to take to the streets and resist the coup, which they did in their thousands.

Soldiers in Istanbul opened fire on protesters and fighting erupted in Ankara, with planes bombing the parliament building.

Erdogan flew into Istanbul early on Saturday where he was greeted by a sea of supporters, and shortly after the government announced it had regained control and that the coup had failed.

More than 290 people were killed, according to official figures, including over 100 putschists.

Is it over?

Authorities wasted no time in launching a ruthless crackdown to root out suspected coup plotters in their own ranks.

But in a sign that the situation has yet to return completely to normal, security forces and putschists briefly clashed at an air base in the central city of Konya on Sunday.

There was also an incident on Sunday evening at Istanbul's second airport Sabiha Gokcen, where police fired warning shots at putschists who were resisting arrest. They eventually surrendered.

Who was behind the coup bid?

It remains unclear who exactly was behind the attempted power grab. The coup was declared by a group within the army calling itself the Council for Peace in the Homeland, saying it was intervening "to ensure and restore constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms".

Erdogan has furiously pointed blame at his arch-foe Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Islamic preacher whose Hizmet movement has a powerful presence in Turkish society, including the media, police and judiciary.

Gulen has categorically denied any involvement in the plot and has suggested it could have been staged by Erdogan himself to cement his grip on power, a theory that has been raised by other critics and some analysts.

How has the government reacted?

By Monday some 7 500 people including top army commanders, judges and prosecutors had been detained as Erdogan vowed to stamp out the "virus" of the putschists.

A total of 103 generals and admirals have been detained in sweeps across the country as well as 2 389 soldiers, according to Turkish media reports. A military aide to Erdogan, Ali Yazici, was also held.

The crackdown is not limited to the military, with arrest warrants issued for 2 745 judges and prosecutors, according to state-run news agency Anadolu.

The suspects are being charged with membership of an "armed terrorist organisation" and attempting to overthrow the government by force, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The message from authorities is clear: they will show no mercy in the wake of the coup.

Also, nearly 9 000 officials have been sacked.

Erdogan even said on Sunday that Turkey would now consider reinstating the death penalty.

What are world powers saying?

World powers rallied behind Erdogan on the night of the coup, with key strategic partners including the US and EU offering support for Turkey's elected authorities.

But there has been international concern over the mass arrests, with US President Barack Obama urging Ankara to "act within the rule of law" in the aftermath of the failed putsch.

The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Turkey would be barred from joining the bloc if it reinstated the death penalty.

"Democratic and legitimate institutions needed to be protected," she said.

"Let me be very clear... no country can become an EU state if it introduces the death penalty."

Read more on:    eu  |  recep tayyip erdogan  |  us  |  turkey

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