People power helps Turkish police and president Recep Tayyip Erdoga quell coup attempt by faction of Turkish troops, Friday
An estimated 60 killed in the bloody uprising as people responded to president’s call and poured into the streets, clashing with the mutineers
Turkish parliamentary building bombed during emergency session, both police and citizens gunned down in the streets, president holiday home bombed just after he left
Erdogan has sworn revenge on those responsible as he blamed Fethullah Gulen in Pennsylvania “What is being perpetrated is a rebellion and a treason,’ he said warning there would be a ‘heavy price’ to pay”
Martial law and a curfew was imposed during unrest, 100 rebel soldiers surrender 20 of the leaders arrested.
The will of the people standing up to guns helped president Recep Tayyip Erdoga shutdown a coup attempt by by elements of the armed forces, Friday. In the mop up operations, the Turkish government early Saturday ordered fighter jets into the air to shoot down the F16 aircraft piloted by rebel forces attempting to seize control of the country.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoga, survived attempts by militaryfaction to remove him
Erdogan, asserting that he was still in power, called on supporters to take to the streets to defend his government, and by Saturday morning, Turkish television was broadcasting images of rebel soldiers surrendering.
“They have pointed the people’s guns against the people,” Erdogan declared. “This government brought to power by the people is in charge. They won’t succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything.”
Explosions and heavy gunfire echoed in the Turkish capital and military helicopters buzzed overhead throughout the night after rebels reportedly bombed the Turkish parliament and the hotel where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been staying, along with other government targets.
Fethulla Gulen. His loyalists have been accused of being behind the coup attempt
Although the president touched down in Instanbul, he has been unable to return to Ankara Friday from the seaside resort where he was vacationing because rebels controlled the airspace around the capital.
While the government appeared to be consolidating control in Istanbul, the situation remained more uncertain in the nation’s capital.
At least 60 people, “mostly civilians,” were killed in attacks in Ankara, a government spokesman said. The government said about 120 people had been arrested.
The chaos enveloping a country that is a NATO ally, regarded as pivotal in the fight against the jihadists of Islamic State, boded ill for a region already roiled by violence. Both NATO and the U.S. administration were watching late-night and early-morning developments with something close to alarm.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in a statement that the Obama administration viewed the situation “with gravest concern,” and said he had spoken with his Turkish counterpoint and voiced U.S. support for the elected Turkish government. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, calling Turkey a valued member of the alliance, called for “calm and restraint, and full respect for Turkey’s democratic institutions and its constitution.”
In Turkey, recent months have been filled with turmoil. Violence from Syria’s multi-sided war has increasingly spilled across the Turkish border, with the government blaming militants of the Islamic State for a deadly attack last month on the main international airport in Istanbul.
Turkey was also at the center of a migrant crisis that boiled over last summer when thousands of refugees used it as a springboard for the short crossing to Greece, although measures by the European Union have since stemmed that flood.
In a fast-developing and turbulent series of events, tanks and soldiers blocked the entry to Istanbul’s main international airport, and incoming flights were turned away as outgoing air traffic also halted. Traffic was halted over two major bridges in Istanbul, the country’s commercial capital, and news reports inside Turkey said there had been gunfire and injuries in the vicinity of the bridges.
Ankara, the capital, appeared to be the epicenter of the uprising, with repeated explosions hitting outside the parliament building and gunfire ringing out. After midnight, two fighter jets ripped low through the sky, their afterburners setting up a deafening racket.
A statement attributed to the powerful military declared that the army had seized control in order to “ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country.”
The military has been a traditional bastion of secularism, while Erdogan, initially considered politically moderate, has taken an increasingly strident Islamist stance since his rise to power in 2002.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim denied that what he called limited elements of the military had succeeded in wresting control from the government.
Speaking to Turkey’s private NTV television, he characterized events as a coup “attempt” by “certain groups who took arms entrusted to them by the state and pointed them toward the state.”
In Ankara, hundreds of bearded men – backers of Erdogan – walked along a main boulevard toward the prime minister’s office, waving Turkish flags and chanting “God is great!” One marcher called the situation a “mini-war,” and another denounced what he called the attempted overthrow. he people are resisting,” said the man, who gave his name as Adnan.
But opponents of the Turkish leader were out on the street as well. One man who identified himself as Engin Zengin used an obscenity to describe the Islamist-leaning president. “He wanted to make Turkey like Iran, to make us all Islamic fundamentalists,” he said
The turmoil was reminiscent of coups that rattled Turkey from the 1960s to the 1990s, but Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development party had managed to instill a sense of stability in recent years. Human rights groups and Western governments, though, have expressed deepening concern about a continuing erosion of rights and harsh measures by Erdogan to muzzle dissent, stifle the media and bolster his personal power.
The Turkish leader has also launched a punishing war on Kurdish separatists, deeming them a far more dangerous threat than the jihadists of Islamic State.
It was several hours before the president was able to take to the airwaves to denounce the attempt by what he called a “minority” of the Turkish military to take power. For a man who up until now controlled most of the country’s news media, he was reduced to communicating with CNN Turk, a television channel he considers to be an opponent, over Facetime.
“They will pay the price, the highest cost at the end,” Erdogan vowed.
The U.S. Embassy in Turkey sent out an alert warning all American citizens to “shelter in place” in light of the reports of violence.
A visiting California academic in Istanbul, David Selim Sayers, reported he had seen stores shuttering their doors, people rushing for their cars, and long lines of people outside corner stores and ATMs. In a dorm at Bosphorus University, where Sayers is a guest lecturer, he said there was a rush on a vending machine selling Oreo cookies.
“We don’t know how it’s going to go,” said Sayers, who teaches at San Francisco State University, “but people are preparing for the worst.”
A military faction calling itself the “Peace at Home Council” appeared to be spearheading the uprising. The group accused the president of destroying constitutional order and undermining the secular democratic state. The group’s name evokes a phrase used by Kemal Ataturk, modern Turkey’s founding father.
Erdogan blamed the uprising on Fetullah Gulen, a retired Islamic cleric and former political ally, who once had a sizeable following in the Turkish police, judiciary and military.
The president has purged the police and judiciary of reputed Gulen sympathizers over the past two years, and had been due to hold a meeting of the body overseeing the military, the High Military Council. There were reports he was planning oust anyone still linked with Gulen.
Gulen, whose movement denied any involvement, now lives in exile in Pennsylvania, and Erdogan has tried, thus far unsuccessfully, to obtain his extradition to face allegations of supporting terrorism.