Attempted coup in Turkey: what we know so far

AFP, Saturday 16 Jul 2016

Turkish soldiers, arrested by civilians, are handed to police officers, in Istanbul's Taksim square, early Saturday, July 16, 2016. (AP Photo)

A Turkish army faction backed by tanks and fighter jets launched a coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that appeared to be faltering on Saturday.

Here is what we know so far:


Officials were insisting the attempted coup was falling apart, and authorities had regained control of the parliament, which was hastily reconvened into session that was broadcast live on television.

A total of 1,563 military officers had been arrested, officials said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had returned to Istanbul airport during the early hours of Saturday, saying the hotel he was staying at on Turkey's Aegean coast was bombed after he left.

Erdogan appointed General Umit Dundar, commander of the First Army, as acting chief of staff after General Hulusi Akar was captured and taken hostage.

Akar was later rescued, the private TV station CNN-Turk reported.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who has spoken on media via telephone throughout the night, is believed to be in Ankara.

Government-backed jets have downed pro-coup aircraft and bombed tanks surrounding the presidential palace in the capital Ankara.

Dozens of soldiers backing the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul that they had held throughout the night, holding their hands above their heads as they were detained

Nearly 200 soldiers surrendered at the military headquarters in Ankara on Saturday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. An official said special forces were currently securing the complex.

Istanbul authorities sought to make a show of normalisation with the bridges reopening to traffic and Ataturk International Airport -- which had been shut down by the plotters -- gradually reopening.


A group calling itself the "Council for Peace in the Homeland" declared martial law and a curfew in a statement, saying it had launched the coup "to ensure and restore constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms and let the supremacy of the law in the country prevail..."

No named military officer claimed responsibility for the actions.

The army chief of staff, General Hulusi Akar, was captured by pro-coup plotters and held for several hours before being rescued.

Erdogan put the blame the coup on supporters of his arch-foe, US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose Hizmet movement and its powerful presence in Turkish society, including the media, police and judiciary.

Gulen denied being behind the coup attempt and condemned it "in the strongest terms".

The number of dead from a coup attempt in Turkey has risen to 90, the state-run news agency Anadolu reported, adding that 1,154 people were wounded.

Erdogan had called his supporters out onto the streets, and in several locations they outnumbered putsch soldiers.

Troops also moving to block the bridges across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, and an AFP photographer saw soldiers open fire on people gathered near one them, leaving dozens wounded.

Soldiers also opened shot at protesters angrily denouncing the coup bid at Istanbul's famous Taksim Square, injuring several.

Explosions rocked areas near official buildings as government aircraft sought to eject pro-coup tanks.

Short link: