Reports; Former commander of #Turkish Air Force, General Akin Ozturk, said to be behind coup attempt in #Turkey pic.twitter.com/rbHIMonUEl— Joumana Gebara (@JoumanaGebara) July 16, 2016
An attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble in the early hours of Saturday after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets to support him.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Saturday 161 people, excluding putschists, were killed and 1,440 wounded in the coup attempt against the government. He added that 2,839 soldiers are now detained on suspicion of involvement.
Yildirim described the putsch bid as a "black stain" on Turkish democracy. He was speaking outside his Cankaya palace in Ankara flanked by top general Hulusi Akar who was held during the coup attempt.
Nearly 200 unarmed soldiers at the Turkish military headquarters have meanwhile surrendered as special troops are currently securing the complex, an official said. In addition, some 104 coup plotters were killed, the acting army chief General Umit Dundar said in televised appearance on Saturday.
Erdogan, who had been holidaying on the coast when the coup was launched, flew into Istanbul before dawn on Saturday and was shown on TV appearing among a crowd of supporters outside the airport, which the coup plotters had failed to secure.
The uprising was an "act of treason", and those responsible would pay a heavy price, Erdogan told reporters at a hastily arranged news conference. Arrests of officers were under way, and it would go higher up the ranks, culminating in the cleansing of the military, Erdogan added.
Gunfire and explosions had rocked both the main city Istanbul and capital Ankara in a chaotic night after soldiers took up positions in both cities and ordered state television to read out a statement declaring they had taken power.
But by early Saturday, Reuters journalists saw around 30 pro-coup soldiers surrender their weapons after being surrounded by armed police in Istanbul's central Taksim square.
They were taken away in police vans as a fighter jet repeatedly screeched overhead at low altitude, causing a boom that shook surrounding buildings and shattered windows. Hmmm........The army coup failed......The Islamist coup succeeded.