TURKEY: 90 dead as soldiers surrender

TURKEY: 90 dead as soldiers surrender

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, after a night of gunfire and explosions in Ankara and Istanbul.

Officials say the coup attempt is over, although the situation is still confused.
At least 90 people are dead and more than 1,000 wounded.

Some 1,563 soldiers have been arrested.
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.

Events began on Friday evening when tanks took up positions on key bridges in Istanbul, blocking it to traffic. Troops were seen on the streets and low-flying military jets were filmed over Ankara, the capital.

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.

President Erdogan was in the south-west holiday resort of Marmaris at the time. He made a televised address, via his mobile phone, urging people to take to the streets to oppose the uprising. He then flew on to Istanbul, saying Marmaris had been bombed after he left.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara ordered the military to shoot down aircraft being used by coup plotters.
The army’s top general and military chief of staff, Hulusi Akar, was reportedly taken hostage by the coup-plotters, and then released.