CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Turkey: Over 90 Killed in Military Coup Attempt, Civilians Come in Support of Government

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan
(Photo : Presidencia de la República Mexicana/Wikimedia/CC) Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on the civilians to come in support of the government against the attempted coup by army. Thousands of people confronted the army tanks, leading to surrender and detainment of over 1,500 rebel military men.

Over 90 people were killed and thousands were wounded in a military coup to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan's government in Turkey. However, the public came out in support of the President and confronted the rebel army on the streets, due to which the coup lost much of its strength.

Pictures on social media showed civilians standing in front of the tanks, one man on cycle stood before the tank raising his arms, and still another one laying outstretched before a tank. At some places there were clashes between the military and the people, where several civilians were killed or wounded, but the people managed to outnumber the army and were photographed climbing on and taking over the tanks.

Over 1,500 armed personnel in the armed forces have been detained, and about 200 unarmed rebel soldiers surrendered to police.

The coup started on Friday in capital Ankara and Istanbul but by Saturday morning, the government appeared to be gaining an upper hand.

Explosions rocked the cities, and the air force used F-16s to carry out attacks against the rebel army tanks stationed outside the presidential palace in Ankara.

Reuters reported that the parliament building in Ankara was also fired at three times by the tanks, wounding several people.

Rebel army helicopters launched missile attacks on special forces headquarters in the outskirts of the capital, killing 17 police officers.

The helicopter that fired missile on Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), was downed by air force.

Turkish Weekly quoted First Army commander Umit Dundar as saying that the coup-plotters were a minority in the army.

"There is nothing to worry about. We are taking necessary measures with the soldiers who have not joined them and are still acting within chain of command," Dundar said.

Erdogan said that the rebel group was part of FETO/PDY terrorist organization, which had also tried to usurp the government three years ago.

On Friday at about 2 pm, military announced that it had taken control over the country.

"The power in the country has been seized in its entirety," a rebel military spokesman read the statement on NTV television.

But the presidential sources told AFP that the statement did not represent Turkish army.

"The statement made on behalf of the Armed Forces wasn't authorized by the military command. We urge the world to stand in solidarity with the Turkish people," a source told AFP.

Military Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar was taken hostage by the rebel section of army at the defense headquarters, but was rescued from an airbase at the outskirts of Ankara by the military loyal to the President.

Massive damages in the city of Ankara were reported by the eyewitnesses. One of the scenes was described as "massive, massive death" by Diego Cupolo, an Italian American photographer.

"Everybody is stressed. There's a lot of broken glass and people are scared," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I heard people coming around with megaphones calling people into the streets: 'Come support your country!'

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry issued a joint statement asking all parties to side with the democratically-elected government of Turkey.

"The president and secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed," the Whitehouse statement said.

Tags Turkey military coup 2016, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State John Kerry

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