So, the moderate support simply wasn’t sufficient to win. The military apparently represents Ataturk’s democratic ideals based on Western values which Erdogan has been shredding. Ataturk realised the danger and toxic effect of Islam and rooted out of Turkish society. Rooting out Islam from a country covered with Muslims? Not a small task. This elimination of Islam made Turkey the most moderate Muslim country in the world. Not anymore. The moderates lost in Turkey yesterday. They should have just allowed Erdogan to land from his vacation and shot him point blank.
‘They will pay a heavy price for their treason’: Turkish soldiers surrender after their military coup fails, ending with 60 dead, 750 security forces detained and President Erdogan vowing revenge
- WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES
- Turkish troops launched an unsuccessful military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government
- At least 60 were killed in the bloody uprising as Erdogan supporters clashed with the military rebels on Friday
- The Turkish parliamentary building was bombed and both police and citizens were gunned down in the streets
- President Erdogan has sworn revenge on those responsible as he blamed Fethullah Gulen in Philadelphia
- ‘What is being perpetrated is a rebellion and a treason,’ he said warning there would be a ‘heavy price’ to pay
- Martial law and a curfew was imposed during conflict as U.S. citizens were warned to seek shelter and stay there
By Hannah Parry For Dailymail.com and Darren Boyle for MailOnline|
More than 750 rebels have been detained after their failed military coup that killed at least 60 as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vows revenge for the bloody uprising.
Erdogan made his triumphant return back to Istanbul after his forces quelled the coup on Friday evening, as he warned that the members of the military behind the plot to oust him would pay a ‘heavy price for their treason’
The rebel army faction – who call themselves the ‘Peace Council’ – said they were trying to overthrow the government to ‘protect human rights’ and restore democracy from Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, AKP, which has repeatedly faced criticism from human rights groups and Western allies over its brutal crackdowns on anti-government protesters.
However, Erdogan has blamed his old scapegoat, Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating the uprising. Muslim cleric Gulen, the president’s rival who lives in self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania as the head of a billion dollar religious movement, has often been blamed for political unrest in Turkey.
After the uprising was crushed in the early hours of Saturday morning, Erdogan told the gathered masses as Ataturk Airport that those loyal to Gulen had ‘penetrated the Armed Forces and the police, among other government agencies, over the past 40 years.’
‘What is being perpetrated is a rebellion and a treason,’ Mr. Erdogan said. ‘They will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey.’
Up to 100 rebel soldiers surrendered on Bosphorus Bridge after their failed uprising. At least 120 connected have been arrested in connection with the dramatic coup which lasted approximately five hours.
The Turkish president warned that the members of the military behind the plot to oust him would pay a ‘heavy price for their treason’ as he blamed his rival Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating the uprising (pictured, soldiers surrender)
Around 100 Turkish soldiers surrender on Turkey’s Bosphorus Bridge after intense fighting with forces loyal to the government
Turkish soldiers, arrested by civilians, are handed to police officers in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Saturday, after the coup
A man lay down in front of a tank on the approach to Ataturk airport in Istanbul as citizens took to the streets to oppose the military coup
The man then stood up and took off his shirt in an effort the present the tank from taking position in the airport
A Turkish policeman and other people stand atop of a military vehicle in Ankara after crushing the rebellion
People climb on tanks after around a hundred soldiers occupying Bosphorus Bridge surrendered in Istanbul, Turkey on July 16
People carry a man shot during clashes with Turkish military at the entrance to the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul
At least 42 died and countless others were injured during the clashes with Turkish military, pictured is a man shot at the entrance to the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul
A wounded man is carried away during the attempted coup – one of hundreds injured during the blasts and gunfire battles between rebel soldiers and those loyal to Erdogan
Unarmed civilians carried a man believed to have been shot by Turkish troops away from the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul
17 police are believed to have died after military helicopters attacked their headquarters building in central Ankara, pictured
Turkey’s parliamentary building was bombed during the coup, as this picture shows the devastation from the explosive
Windows were smashed, doors blown off their hinges after the bomb on the parliamentary building. It is not yet clear if anyone was hurt in the blast.
Explosions and gunfire erupted in Istanbul and Ankara on Friday night during the coup which killed at least 60 people – 17 of those police officers – in the army’s bid to overthrow the Islamic government.
Elsewhere troops opened fire on civilians attempting to cross the river Bosporus in Istanbul in protest to the military coup, while a bomb has hit the parliament building according to the state’s press agency as the security situation in the country becomes more perilous.
Colonel Muharrem Kose reportedly led the Turkish military forces in the uprising.
Kose had recently been kicked out of the army, from his position as head of the military’s legal advisory department, over his links to Gulen. He was killed during the clashes with Erdogan’s supporters, sources report.
As military took to the streets, Erdogan had urged his supporters to ignore a curfew and take back control of the country.
Tanks and armoured personnel carriers tried to seize strategic points in Istanbul and Ankara but were faced down by unarmed civilians who lay down in front of the heavy armour.
Explosions rocked the nation’s parliament building injuring several police officers and parliament workers as the blast ripped though the building. An eyewitness said the ‘massive’ explosion shook nearby buildings.
Police special forces headquarters was also hit and was razed to the ground.
Other witnesses reported attack helicopters firing machine guns in the capital Ankara in a bid to depose the Islamic government.
There were also reports that a Turkish Air Force F-16 has shot down a Sikorsky helicopter over Ankara. The government claimed the jet destroyed the helicopter which had been ‘hijacked by coup plotters’.
In Takism square, around 30 rebel soldiers surrendered following a gun battle with police loyal to Erdogan.
A number of F-16 fighter jets had screamed across the square at low level blasting the area with a sonic boom.
During the night, both the civilian government and the military claimed they were in control of the country, with reports of sporadic gunfire and explosions.
In a statement, the army faction said that they took action ‘to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated.’
The Turkish military has also long seen its role as safeguarding Turkey’s secularist agenda, and has staged numerous coup’s over the last 60 years when it feels the government’s stance is moving too far away from that.
President Recep Erdogan, pictured centre, made a triumphant return to Istanbul following a botched military coup in Turkey
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen amid his supporters at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on July 16 after his loyal forces successfully crushed the uprising
Huge crowds of supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan cheered as he left the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, while hundreds of rebels were arrested
Thousands gathered, many carrying Turkish flags, in Ordu, Turkey after a rebel faction of the military staged a coup
Protesters blocked the tanks from seizing the airport, which allowed President Erdogan to make his triumphant return to Istanbul
Turkish army’s tank entered the Ataturk Airport during the coup where witnesses say they heard explosive noises
People climbs on top of the military’s tanks after a group of soldiers involved in the coup attempt were neutralized by police
Turkish citizens walk across the now-opened bridge after the horrors of last night, since the coup was successfully crushed.
The military said that ‘all international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue.’
The statement was read over TRT television by a news anchor in the name of a so-called ‘peace council,’ according to a local resident.
But the nation’s national intelligence released its own statement saying the coup had been ‘repelled’, although troops and heavy armour had continued to hold strategic locations in Ankara.
Meanwhile. Erdogan made it clear he believes rival Gulen is behind the attack.
Gulen’s nonprofit organization, the Alliance for Shared Values, denies any involvement and condemned the actions of the Turkish military.
Gulen, 75, was initially a close ally of Erdogan, who rose from the mayor of Istanbul to prime minister before he became the president in 2014.
But the two fell out over a massive corruption scandal in 2013 that cost the country $100billion USD in a campaign thought to be initiated by Gulen’s followers against Erdogan’s closest allies.
Trained as an imam, Fethullah Gulen gained notice in Turkey some 50 years ago, promoting a philosophy that blended a mystical form of Islam with staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.
Erdogan has long accused Gulen of plotting to overthrow the officially secular government from a gated 26-acre compound in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, which has a population of about 1,100.
The President, who was on vacation in the resort town of Marmaris when the coup began, issued a statement to CNN tonight referring to a ‘parallel structure’ behind the coup, a reference to Gulen’s followers.
Amid the chaotic scenes, soldiers also seized control of the headquarters of the Dogan Media Group. A journalist broadcasting live on the station said she did not know how much longer she will be able to continue on the air.
All flights in and out of Ataturk Airport were suspended during the unrest while while military aircraft were also seen flying over Ankara, the capital.
A Los Angeles man trapped inside a Turkish airport has described hearing shots ring out and screaming passengers trample over each other as a bloody military coup raged on outside.
Eyewitnesses have reported shots being fired in Ankara several hours after members of the military attempted their coup
After several hours of protests, protesters began clashing with troops amid reports that civilians have been shot by soldiers
Milton Smith, 37, who had a nine hour layover in Istanbul en route to South Africa, told DailyMail.com he was in a café when he heard a gunshot and people began running, ‘screaming, crying and trampling’ over each other.
‘I didn’t know what was happening,’ he said. ‘I was enjoying a beverage, heard the shot and heard screams and people running and I ran too.
‘I looked at possible exits and spaces to hide as necessary. We’ve felt two possible bombs felt like earthquakes.’
An LA attorney, Ayda Akalin, whose family is trapped at Ataturk Airport, told DailyMail.com exclusively that her loved ones heard an ‘explosion sound of some type. ‘They think it’s either bomb or sonic boom of low flying aircraft.’
She added that her family, along with many other travelers, were stuck in the gate and the hallway at the airport.’
Turkey has now reopened Ataturk Airport and announced that flights are running again.
Corinna Stukan, who is stuck at the airport, told DailyMail.com: ‘People are exhausted but the situation has calmed down a lot. There are rumors that we can check in for some flights soon!’
Internet access within Turkey was also severely restricted with social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook blocked.
President Barack Obama issued a message urging all parties in Turkey to support the democratically-elected government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
He urged them to avoid violence or bloodshed amid the military takeover of the key NATO ally.
Obama discussed the developments by telephone with Secretary of State John Kerry, who was traveling in Moscow for separate meetings with senior Russian officials on Syria.
In a separate statement, Kerry said the U.S. viewed the ‘very fluid situation’ in Turkey with the ‘gravest concern.’
The US Department of Bureau of Consular Affairs had warned all Americans in Turkey to stay where they are and not to attempt to go to the US embassy or consulates.
U.S. troops in Turkey were not affected, a spokeswoman for U.S. Air Forces in Europe said in a statement.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg backed key ally Turkey’s ‘democratic institutions’
He said: ‘I call for calm and restraint, and full respect for Turkey’s democratic institutions and its constitution. Turkey is a valued NATO Ally.’
Stoltenberg added: ‘I have just spoken to the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. I am following events in Turkey closely and with concern.’
US Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke with Cavusoglu. He stressed America supported the democratically-elected civilian government.
The Pentagon also stressed they were monitoring the situation. They said there taking steps to ensure the safety of US personnel and their families at in Incirlik airbase.s to ensure the safety and well-being of diplomatic missions and personnel and civilians throughout Turkey.
Civilians lay in the street in front of tanks to prevent them from rolling through Ankara as part of the ongoing military coup
Civilians took shelter behind a number of vans near the Turkish radio and television offices after an explosion ripped through the building
President Erdogan used ‘FaceTime’ to talk to a journalist on private run media to claim he was still in full control of the country
During the bizarre broadcast , Erdogan called on people to resist the military and ignore the military’s curfew and take to the streets
Eyewitnesses have posted photographs of a large explosion in the capital Ankara amid the Turkish military takeover
Supporters of Erdogan clambered on top of a tank in Ankara to prevent it from taking a strategic position in the city
Turkey’s government has called for people to take to the streets in order to protest against the military’s attempted takeover
Turkish intelligence sources said the coup had been repelled although heavily armed troops continued to guard the streets
Erdogan urged his supporters to block the military and prevent them from seizing control of the country as part of the coup
The unrest in Turkey, which straddles Europe and the Middle East, is of concern to the West as it is on the frontier of the global battle with ISIS and has been used as a base to launch strikes against the terrorist group in Syria.
While the coup was successfully defeated, instability in the area could hamper efforts to tackle the extremist group which has been behind some of the worst terrorist attacks in recent history.
The coup will also be a blow for Turkey’s ambitions to join the European Union.
Erdogan had demanded membership of the EU as the price for stemming the tide of refugees pouring over his country’s borders into Europe. In exchange for the visa deal and £2.2billion in aid, he agreed to step up border controls, tackle people-smuggling gangs and re-admit failed asylum seekers who had entered Europe from Turkey.
Turkish politicians had argued that Turkey is ‘a major European power’ and with the exit of Britain, the EU will need to include the country as a member.
However, the unrest in the past 24 hours is unlikely to help its case as concerns over the stability of the country and its human rights record surface once again.
During the five hours of chaos, which began when two busloads of soldiers burst into the headquarters of state run TRT news agency, taking news off the air and replacing it with a stream of weather forecasts, explosions were heard across Ankara.
Turkey’s state-run news agency reported military helicopters have also attacked the headquarters of TURKSAT satellite station on the outskirts of Ankara and the Ankara Police headquarters.
Dozens of tanks were seen moving toward a palace that is now used by the prime minister and deputy prime ministers.
A civilian car tried to stop one of the tanks, but it rammed through the vehicle as those in the car escaped.
Troops rounded up police officers loyal to the government, according to witnesses. CNN Turkey showed two military vehicles and a group of soldiers lined up at the entrance of one of the bridges in Turkey’s biggest city.
A Turkish official who did not want to be named said soldiers had been deployed in other cities in Turkey, but did not specify which ones.
A tank in central Ankara drove over a car as protesters clambered aboard preventing it from moving across the city in Turkey’s coup
Police gathered near the Turkish General Staff building in Ankara as the country edged closer to a potential civil war
Erdogan’s supporters ignored the military’s curfew and assembled in front of soldiers who were stationed in Istanbul’s Taksim square
Soldiers remained calm in Taksim square in Istanbul as supporters of President Erdogan clambered on top of statues in protest to the coup.
The military said they have moved due to ‘rising autocratic rule and increased terrorism’.
Media reports said ambulances were seen in front of Turkey’s military headquarters. Gunshots were reportedly heard near the presidential palace in Ankara.
Yildirim on Friday denounced what he said was an ‘illegal attempt’ by elements in the military after bridges were partially shut down in Istanbul and jets flew low over Ankara.
‘We are working on the possibility of an attempt. We will not allow this attempt,’ he told NTV television by telephone, without expanding on the nature of the move but saying it was by a group in the Turkish military.
‘Those who are in this illegal act will pay the highest price,’ he added, saying it would not be correct to describe the move as a ‘coup’.
Yildirim did not provide details, but said Turkey would never allow any ‘initiative that would interrupt democracy’.
The mayor of Ankara also reportedly called people onto the streets.
The Istanbul based first army commander Umit Dundar claimed those involved in the coup ‘represent a small group’ claiming ‘there is no cause for concern’.
He told the Anadolu state-run news agency: ‘We are working to solve the problem here. They represent a small group within the First Army Command. There is no cause for concern. We are taking the necessary precautions with (soldiers) who have not joined them and remain within the military chain of command.’
A man covered in blood points towards the Bosphorus bridge where troops opened fire on civilians protesting against the coup
Injured civilians were evacuated from the scene by ambulance as people stood up against troops involved in the military coup.
Tanks and armoured personnel carriers protected barricades with dozens of infantry troops in support of the coup
Soldiers fired shots into the air to disperse supporters of Recep Erdogan from Taskim Square in central Istanbul
Tank drivers used their massive machines to drive over cars which had been used to block the road in central Istanbul
Commanders ordered their tanks to continue forward despite being blocked by civilians who parked their cars in the street
Thousands of people took to the streets after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim branded those involved in the coup as ‘traitors’
Protesters tried to block the military tanks using their cars, however, some commanders refused to stop their mission .
Erdogan said the uprising attempt was being run by a minority within the armed forces and said it would be met with the ‘necessary response’.
Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala says very effective units from the chief of general staff’s office, the Turkish armed forces and the police are responded to the attempted coup in the country.
Ala says they are responding to ‘gangs who have taken cover in certain locations’.
He spoke by telephone to NTV television and also encouraged Turkish citizens to ‘fearlessly go out and support our security forces’.
He says: ‘We think it would be right for them to go out to the airports, to the streets, especially to the main arteries. As long as they do that this gang’s attempts… they will be defeated no matter what.’
He added ‘this is a gang that considers nothing sacred, not the people or the nation. They’re taking certain actions.’
The security situation has got progressively worse during the evening with reports of the first deaths in Turkey’s latest military coup
Turkish people appear to have heeded Erdogan’s appeal to take to the streets to protest against the military takeover
Turkish police officers, believed to be loyal to the regime, have been massing near Taksim Square in Istanbul .
Erdogan was elected president in 2014 after becoming prime minister in 2003 and served as the Mayor of Instanbul from 1994 to 1998.
He founded the Justice and Development Party, known as the AKP in 2001 and led it through three general elections.
He then stepped down as leader in 2003 when he was elected President.
He comes from an Islamist political background and is described as a conservative democrat.
He has proved to be a divisive character in Turkish society.
Erdogan has become increasingly unpopular with more educated and modernised people but he has denied wanting to impose Islamic values in the country.
Thousands of supporters in the city of Yozgat, about 100 miles east of Ankara demonstrated against the attempted military coup
Also in Bayburt, which is 50 miles south of the Black Sea, thousands of people protested in front of the Town Hall against the military.
He has said he is committed to secularism but supports people’s rights to express their religious beliefs openly.
The party which he founded, AKP, suffered a dip in the polls last summer, but regained popularity again after Turkey’s worst suicide bombing in history last November.
He remains well-liked among the more traditional Muslim community in Turkey, who supported his bids to criminalize adultery and introduce alcohol-free zones in the country although they ultimately failed.
Mr Erdogan owes much of his political success to the stable economy over the last decade.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Vladimir Putin was ‘deeply concerned about the news coming from Turkey’.
Peskov said Putin was being briefed by foreign ministry and intelligence services.
In a statement sent by email and reported on Turkish TV channels, the military said all of Turkey’s existing foreign relations would be maintained and that the rule of law would remain the priority.
The military statement went on to say that: ‘A curfew has been imposed until a second order.’
They signed the statement on behalf of the ‘Council for Peace in the Homeland’.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said he hoped the crisis in Turkey would soon be resolved while preserving peace, stability and a respect for ‘continuity’.
Turkey’s top general has been taken hostage at the military headquarters in the capital Ankara after an attempt to bring down the government, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
‘General Hulusi Akar has been taken hostage by a group in the military who attempted an uprising.’
Erdogan, pictured center, said he was going to ‘cleanse the military’ accusing those soldiers involved in the coup of ‘treason’
Witnesses photographed a Turkish F-16 flying a combat air patrol over Ankara amid claims the military has seized control of the country
Tanks and armoured personnel carriers have seized the main airport in Ankara as well as strategic bridges in Istanbul
The Turkish military has detained unarmed civilians, pictured, minutes after the coup was launched
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, pictured, described tonight’s coup as illegal and has vowed to retaliate
Witnesses have claimed there have been reports of an explosion near a police academy in Turkey
Soldiers blocked Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge which was lit in the French colours in solidarity with Nice
Back in March this year, the Defense Department ordered the evacuation of hundreds of military and civilian dependents from Turkey.
Around 700 spouses and children at Incirlik Air Base alone were ordered to leave amid fears of violence breaking out between political factions.
‘We understand this is disruptive to our military families, but we must keep them safe and ensure the combat effectiveness of our forces to support our strong ally Turkey in the fight against terrorism,’ Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, said at the time.
The total U.S. military force at Incirlik has grown from 1,300 last year, to almost 2,500 after the Turkish government agreed to let U.S. combat aircraft use the base to launch air strikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
But the base’s role in the fight against the terrorist group has also made it a target.
In July, rising concerns about extremists targeting U.S. troops and their families prompted military officials to lock down the base.
Turkey is also a popular destination for American tourists, with thousands visiting the country’s historical sites, beach resorts and cultural spots every year.
Both the US Department of travel and the British Foreign Office has advised citizens against travel to Turkey, and those there to avoid public places.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted that he was ‘very concerned’ by the events unfolding in Turkey.
He said: ‘Our Embassy is monitoring the situation closely. Brits should follow FCO website for advice.’
Each year 2.5 million Britons travel to Turkey for a holiday.
However, following a string of terrorist attack, visitor numbers have collapsed by approximately 35 percent.
A statement from the Turkish military was read out on state TV, pictured, citing the growing terror threat as the reason for the coup
Heavily armed troops have seized strategic locations across Ankara and Istanbul although the Government claims they are still in power
Turkish troops have seized Taksim Square in Istanbul amid conflicting reports that they have successfully overthrown the government
Erdogan, pictured, held a press conference outside a hotel room in the holiday resort of Marmaris and has vowed revenge
The government claims the coup has not been successful however the military said have taken full control of the country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Turkey to avoid all ‘bloodshed’ amid reports of a coup.
In a joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Lavrov said that ‘problems in Turkey need to be resolved in accordance with the constitution’.
S oldiers blocked entry to Ataturk Airport where four tanks were stationed
Two other tanks and a military vehicle were stationed in front of the VIP terminal. The report said the soldiers had entered the tower and stopped all flights.
News reports said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was safe and would make a televised statement soon.
Turkey is an important member of NATO in a vital strategic location.
According to the White House: ‘The president’s national security team has apprised him of the unfolding situation in Turkey. The president will continue to receive regular updates.’
There are reports of major explosions in Ankara at the site of the Turkish state TV station.
European airlines have begun diverting aircraft that were en-route to Turkish airports after being alerted to the coup.
HISTORY OF TURKISH COUPS: MILITARY HAS PREVIOUS HISTORY OF OVERTHROWING THE CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT
The Turkish army regards itself as the protector of Turkish democracy, a philosophy made up of secular ideals created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – the founder of the modern Turkish Republic.
There have been four major coups in the past 50 years with thousands killed as a result of military intervention and social and political unrest.
The first coup took place in 1960 as political tension reached boiling point between the government, led by prime minister Adnan Menderes and president Celal Bayar, the opposing parties and the armed forces.
The administration began to re-open mosques and opened new religious schools as well as calling for people to pray in Arabic rather than Turkish. It also imposed new press laws banning critical articles in newspapers.
After periods of unrest Menderes was forced to employ martial law. The government was eventually toppled and the president, prime minister and several cabinet members were arrested. Menderes was later executed.
While there was not a coup in 1971, events in this period would contribute to military intervention in nine years time.
Turkey had sunk into a recession, with their currency failing – causing protests in the streets with often violent demonstrations and attacks from right-wing organisations.
The military intervened and prime minister, Suleyman Demirel resigned with a right-wing temporary government put in place.
The 1970s were a time of immense political and social unrest in Turkey with thousands being killed and 11 prime ministers taking control.
A military coup was announced on TV in September 1980 with the army establishing martial law.
The government was dissolved and naval officer Bulend Ulusu became prime minister for three year’s before he was succeeded by Turgut Ozal.
While there was a stability that came with the military rule but hundreds of thousands of people were executed, tortured or went missing during this period.
After the Islamist Welfare Party took power in 1996 the armed forces suggested a series of policies that it urged the Government to take.
The following year it ensured changes including a headscarf ban at universities and an eight-year education programme to ensure that young people did not enrol at religious schools – were put in place.
Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan resigned and was slapped with a five-year ban from politics.