Forces loyal to Turkey’s president quashed a coup attempt in a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire that left dozens dead Saturday.
Authorities arrested thousands of people as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed those responsible “will pay a heavy price for their treason.”
The chaos capped a period of political turmoil in Turkey – a NATO member and key Western ally in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS – that critics blame on Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule.
He has shaken up the government, cracked down on dissidents, restricted the news media and renewed conflict with the Kurdish minority. Pressure has also come from millions of …
Friday night’s coup attempt was a black mark on Turkish democracy but the nation has given the “best response” to terrorists, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday.
At a news conference in Ankara, Yildirim said members of the “parallel structure” – government shorthand for the followers of U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, were in the hands of Turkish justice.
Yildirim said 161 people had been killed and 1,440 wounded in the coup attempt.
A total of 2,839 members of Turkey’s military have been detained in connection with an attempted coup overnight, Yildirim said, adding that those detained included ordinary soldiers and high-ranking officers.
Yildirim said the situation was fully under control and that “our commanders” were in charge of the military.
He called on Turkish citizens to fill town and city squares with flags on Saturday evening and said parliament would meet at 1200 GMT to discuss the attempt.
*Culled from Reuters