International desk – More than a thousand soldiers were arrested after they attempted a military coup to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who dismissed the coup saying it was an act of treason, media reports said Saturday.
According to a cunt by sources close to CNN a total of 1,563 military personnel have been detained across Turkey and many are thought to be young, rank and file soldiers.
Some soldiers linked to the coup have seen reprisals. Dramatic video from Turkey’s IHA TV showed a young soldier being pelted by rocks before being pulled to safety by a police officer.
Nearly 90 people were killed and more than 1,000 others wounded during the overnight coup attempts as the soldiers clashed with the law enforcement in Ankara and Istanbul.
President Erdogan has denounced the 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, Istanbul and elsewhere.
Acting military chief of staff General Umit Dundar said 104 coup plotters had been killed and 1,563 arrested.
He said 90 others had died and 1,154 were injured in the night of violence.
Although the chief of staff had been rescued, several military commanders were still being held hostage, he warned.
The events began on Friday evening when tanks took up positions on two bridges over the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, blocking it to traffic. Troops were seen on the streets and low-flying military jets were filmed over Ankara, according to BBC.
Shortly after, a faction of the army released a statement saying 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.
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.
In a speech at Istanbul airport, Erdogan said: “What is being perpetrated is a treason and a rebellion. They will pay a heavy price.”
After a night of explosions, gunfire and tanks rolling along the streets, President Erdogan said that an attempted military coup was over and the government was in charge.
However, the sounds of fighting were still being reported in Ankara and Istanbul after the chaotic attempt by members of the military to wrest control from Erdogan.
Five generals and 29 colonels are relieved of their duty, according to Turkey’s Interior Ministry, and several high court judges are also being questioned.
At least one air force base in the country is still in control of the insurgents, according to the ministry.
800 people are hospitalized in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, and 200 people in Istanbul, according to a tweet from Kerem Kinik, the President of the Red Crescent in Turkey. The total number of wounded, according to Kinik, is 1,000 at this time.
Ömer Çelik, Turkey’s EU negotiator, tweeted images that he said showed some of the damage at the Turkish Parliament:
“Our country has been subjected to treacherous enemy attack, which displays betrayal to the nation, their uniforms and morals. The necessary response has been shown to the enemy and it is still being shown,” he said.
Erdogan appears to place the blame in this live address on Fethullah Gulen, a high-profile political figure and religious scholar based in U.S., says CNN.
“Now I’m addressing those in Pennsylvania. The betrayal you have shown to this nation and to this community, that’s enough. If you have the courage, come back to your country. If you can. You will not have the means to turn this country into a mess from where you are,” the president was quoted to have said by CNN.