Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency has raised the number of dead in the attempted coup to some 90 with 1,154 wounded. It also says the military’s chief of staff, Gen. Hulusi Akar, was rescued in an operation at an air base outside the capital of Ankara.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan addressed a large crowd in Istanbul Saturday morning, as security personnel rounded up suspects after a chaotic coup attempt that sent tanks and demonstrators into the streets while aircraft battled overhead.
“In Turkey the army is not governing the state and they cannot, and this should be known by all,” Erdogan said. “The government is in control.”
Erdogan’s return, reported by state-run media reports, indicates that the government appeared to have repelled the attempted coup, while fighting, intrigue and accusations continued in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.
The coup apparently escalated quickly from the seizing of television stations to an armed confrontation between loyalists and crowds of government supporters on one side, and a military group calling itself the Peace at Home Council on the other.
Trouble became apparent when travelers reported on their Twitter accounts flights had been canceled at the Istanbul airport while Turkish military jets were flying low over the city. Military vehicles blocked two bridges spanning the Bosporus Strait that separate the European and Anatolian sides of Istanbul. Turkish news agency Dogan reported soldiers fired on people trying to cross the Bosporus bridge, wounding several.
Reports poured in of military units seizing newsrooms at state-controlled television stations. Then a military helicopter fired on a headquarters building of Turkey’s special forces police in Ankara, killing 17 police officers, according to the Andolu Agency. A Turkish military F-16 shot a Sikorsky helicopter out of the sky, the agency said.
culled From Usatoday