23 July 2019

‘42 killed’ in attempted Turkey coup

KONFRONTASI - Forty two people were killed in the Turkish capital, Ankara, during an attempted coup that started on Friday night, a senior Turkish official says.

The 42 people, 17 of them police and others civilians, were killed in Ankara, NTV reported, citing the chief prosecutor’s office in the capital’s Golbasi district.

Coup launched

The Turkish military said last night that it had fully seized control of the country and that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim were no more in charge.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported a bomb explosion at the parliament building.

Reports also said that a number of tanks had surrounded the Turkish parliament and opened fire near the building. NTV also aired footage of tanks at the entrance to Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.

Gunfire could be heard across the capital, Ankara, as military warplanes and helicopters were flying low over the city.

Coup ‘repelled’

However, on Saturday morning, the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) said the coup attempt in the country has been “repelled” and the situation has been restored to “normal.”

Prime Minister Yildirim also announced in the early hours of Saturday morning that the situation is largely under control and that a no-fly zone was imposed over Ankara.

Who’s to blame?

There are conflicting reports about who exactly the coup plotters were. Factions of the military apparently took on each other during the attempt.

Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News quoted Erdogan as telling CNN Turk that the US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen was responsible for the attempted coup.

Gulen, once Erdogan’s mentor, is now his enemy number one.

However, a group affiliated with the opposition Gulen Movement condemned the coup attempt against the Turkish government.

Erdogan has also said he does not know the whereabouts of army chief General Hulusi Akar, who was reported earlier to have been taken hostage by the coup plotters.[PTV]

(This item is being updated.)

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