An attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble on Saturday after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan’s call to take to the streets to support him and dozens of rebel soldiers abandoned their tanks in the main city of Istanbul.
At least 161 people were killed, 1440 injured and soldiers that were linked to the coup were arrested on Saturday 2839 according to Turkish PM. The violence erupted on Friday after a faction of the armed forces attempted to seize power, officials said.
A successful overthrow of Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003, would have marked one of the biggest shifts in the Middle East in years, transforming one of the most important U.S. allies while war rages on its border. A failed coup attempt could still destabilise a pivotal country.
Mr. Erdogan, who had been holidaying on the southwest coast when the coup was launched, flew into Istanbul before dawn on Saturday and was shown on TV among a crowd of supporters outside Ataturk Airport.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim denounces a bid by a group in the military to topple his government as a “black stain” on Turkish democracy. “The night of July 15, Friday is a black stain on Turkish democracy,” Mr. Yildirim says, adding that “we have averted serious trouble.”
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency is reporting that soldiers who have taken over the Chief of General Staff Headquarters as part of an attempted coup have requested negotiations to surrender.
Some 104 coup plotters were killed after a coup attempt to bring down the Turkish government, the acting Army chief says.