WORLD
Military coup attempt in Turkey: “It was a nightmare”
16 July, 2016
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced a coup attempt as an "act of treason" and insisted his government remains in charge.

A faction of the armed forces is accused of trying to seize power. Officials say the coup is over though this has not been confirmed.

The cities of Ankara and Istanbul were hit by a night of bomb blasts, air strikes and gunfire which left at least 90 people dead and reportedly 1,154 wounded.
Some 1,563 soldiers have been
arrested.
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Dramatic images showed dozens of soldiers walking away from their tanks with their hands up on one of Istanbul's Bosphorus bridges, after they had closed it off to traffic all night.

Since then Turkey's police chief has said at least 16 "coup plotters" have been killed in clashes at the country's military police command.

The Anadolu Agency also reports that some 200 unarmed soldiers at the Turkish military headquarters have "surrendered" to police.
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It had earlier been reported that 754 members of the armed forces had been arrested for involvement in the coup, with 29 colonels and five generals removed from their posts.

Reports also cited the police chief as saying that 16 "coup plotters" had been killed in clashes at the military police command, with 250 people detained there.

Events began on Friday evening when tanks took up positions on key bridges in Istanbul, which were blocked, troops were seen on the streets and low-flying military jets were filmed over Ankara, the capital, BBC reports.

A faction of the army then declared that a "peace council" was running the country, and there would be a curfew and martial law.

The group said it had launched the coup "to ensure and restore constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms".

It said that the democratic and secular rule of law had been eroded by the current government, and there would be a new constitution.
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President Erdogan was in the south-west holiday resort of Marmaris at the time, but flew on to Istanbul. He said Marmaris had been bombed after he left.

He took to his mobile phone to make a televised statement, urging people to take to the streets to oppose the uprising. "I never believed in a power higher than the power of the people," he said.

The Turkish parliament and presidential buildings were attacked overnight in Ankara. At least one bomb hit the parliament complex. MPs were believed to be hiding in shelters.

Gunfire was also heard outside Istanbul police HQ and tanks were said to be stationed outside Istanbul airport.

Broadcaster CNN Turk was reportedly taken over by soldiers, and its live broadcast was cut.

Many people heeded Mr Erdogan's call and took to the streets to confront the coup-plotters.
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There were reports of clashes in Istanbul's Taksim Square, with reports of gunfire and explosions had been heard near the square.

One of the helicopters being flown by rebels was shot down in Ankara, BBC reports.

Istanbul's main Ataturk airport is now under army control, and flights - which had been interrupted for some hours - were due to resume from 06:00 (03:00 GMT).

The surrender of one unit of 60 soldiers one one of Istanbul's bridges was shown live on TV on Saturday morning.
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It is not yet known who was behind the coup. Turkey said it was a "clique within the armed forces" who carried out the attempt.

Earlier, President Erdogan has blamed a "parallel structure" for the coup-attempt.

He has used this term in the past to refer to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric he accuses of fomenting unrest.

However, in a statement, Mr Gulen rejected any suggestion he had links to the events.

"I condemn, in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey," he said.

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