18:34 GMT26 January 2020
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    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has maintained his hold on power following a chaotic night of explosions, gunfire and clashes in Ankara and Istanbul that left at least 90 people dead as a group of military officers tried to overthrow the Turkish strongman. More than 1,560 have been arrested following the failed coup attempt.

    1. What Happened

    On Friday evening, a group of soldiers and law enforcement officers, who referred to themselves as the Council for Peace in the Homeland, took Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport, two bridges over the Bosphorus and Turkish broadcasters, including TRT and CNN-Turk, under control. They aired a message saying that the military was now in charge. They also imposed martial law and curfew in the country.

    ​The group claimed that they represented Turkey's Armed Forces in their entirety, but large parts of the military sided with President Erdogan. Those who tried to take over the country said they meant to defend constitutional order, human rights and freedom in Turkey despite the fact that the country is ruled by democratically elected leaders.

    • The portrait of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen on a building in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016.
      The portrait of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen on a building in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016.
      © REUTERS / Stringer
    • Supporters of Tukish President Tayyip Erdogan celebrate after soldiers involved in the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016
      Supporters of Tukish President Tayyip Erdogan celebrate after soldiers involved in the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016
      © REUTERS / Yagiz Karahan
    • Policemen stand atop military armored vehicles after troops involved in the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016.
      Policemen stand atop military armored vehicles after troops involved in the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016.
      © REUTERS / Murad Sezer
    • People Demonstrate Outside Ataturk International Airport During An Attempted Coup In Istanbul
      People Demonstrate Outside Ataturk International Airport During An Attempted Coup In Istanbul
      © REUTERS / Huseyom Aldemir
    • Turkey Coup Taksim Square Protestors
      Turkey Coup Taksim Square Protestors
      © AP Photo / Emrah Gurel
    1 / 5
    © REUTERS / Stringer
    The portrait of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen on a building in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016.

    In the chaos that followed bombs went off at the airport in Istanbul, as well as the parliamentary complex in Ankara. Coup plotters are reported to have opened gunfire at the presidential residence and the national intelligence headquarters located in the Turkish capital. 

    ​Rebel soldiers used armored vehicles, tanks military aircraft and helicopters to carry out the coup. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim issued an order to shoot down aircraft piloted by coup plotters. Later a Turkish F-16 fighter jet brought down a helicopter that targeted Turkey's state satellite operator Turksat in Ankara.

    ​Meanwhile, Turkey's Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar was rescued after coup plotters had taken him hostage.

    Sixteen people who took part in the coup are said to have been killed in clashes at the military police command, according to Turkey's Police Chief Celalettin Lekesiz. At least 250 people, including Gen. Memduh Hakbilen, the chief of staff of Turkey's command for the Aegean region, have been arrested.

    ​In addition, 1,563 pro-coup officers have been arrested across the country. Some of them surrendered, while overs were detained by fellow officers and handed over to police.

    2. Erdogan's reaction

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was staying on the southwest coast for a holiday when the military tried to take over the country. He first addressed the nation using FaceTime, an iPhone app, to urge his supporters to ignore the curfew, take to the streets and protest against the coup.

    ​The Turkish strongman landed in Istanbul's Ataturk Airport early on Saturday, saying that the coup was over and pledging to "cleanse" the military. Erdogan also said that he would remain at the airport until the situation returns back to normal. "There is no leaving here until this situation goes back to normal. I will not leave, too," he said.

    ​3. Who is behind the coup

    Turkish authorities pinned the blame for the coup on US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, once a key Erdogan ally, and his movement Hizmet that enjoys wide support in Turkey. Gulen "categorically" denied these accusations, adding that he condemned the coup.

    4. Casualties

    At least 90 people, mostly civilians, are reported to have been killed in clashes following the coup. Approximately 1,000 people have been wounded.

    President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the situation in Turkey, July 15, 2016. Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Avril Haines, Deputy National Security Advisor, listen. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
    © Flickr / The White House
    President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the situation in Turkey, July 15, 2016. Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Avril Haines, Deputy National Security Advisor, listen. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    5. World leaders stand behind Turkey's democratically elected authorities

    US President Barack Obama urged all parties in Turkey to "show restraint" and "avoid violence."

    ​US State Secretary John Kerry described the events that unfolded in Turkey overnight as "a very fluid situation," adding that the US supported "Turkey's democratically-elected, civilian government and democratic institutions."

    ​European Council President Donald Tusk said that tensions and challenges could not be solved with guns. "Military coups have no place in modern Turkey," he tweeted.

    ​Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif praised the Turks for defending democracy in the country and its leaders, adding that it served as a proof that military coups "have no place in our region and are doomed to fail."

    ​NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg shared these sentiments, calling for calm, restraint and "full respect for Turkey's democratic institutions and constitution."

    Related:

    Turkish Rebels Lose Control of Military HQ, Attacks on Gov't Buildings Stop
    Military Officer Fired for Gulenist Ties Named as Leader of Turkey's Coup
    Turkish President: Those Involved in Military Coup Will Pay High Price
    Erdogan Regains Control of Turkey's State Owned TRT TV Channel
    Tags:
    military coup, gunfire, violence, Turkish Armed Forces, Binali Yildirim, Fethullah Gulen, Jens Stoltenberg, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Donald Tusk, Barack Obama, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Istanbul, Ankara
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