Coup prevented, organizers arrested, situation under control – Turkish officials

People demonstrate at the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. © Murad Sezer
An attempted military coup has been prevented and all Turkish territories are now under control of the pro-government forces, Turkey’s officials announced as security forces detained senior commanders who were allegedly behind the coup.

READ MORE: ‘Gift from God’: Erdogan sees coup as ‘chance to cleanse military’ while PM mulls death penalty

The completion of the operation aimed at preventing the military coup in Turkey has been confirmed by Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik, who said that no areas remain out of the government’s control, as reported by Reuters. However, he also warned that it is too early to say that the threat of the coup has been completely eliminated – and once again urged the people to take to the streets to show their support for the government.

Earlier, the Head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan also said that most operations against the rebels were finished and those involved in the coup attempt were detained.

Fidan said that some spot operations were still continuing, but added that they also would be finished “in a few hours.”

Meanwhile, Turkish security forces arrested the suspected leader and mastermind of the failed coup, General Akin Ozturk, the former commander of the Turkish Air Force, who was also a member of the country’s Supreme Military Council.

At least five other Turkish senior commanders were arrested in connection with the coup, including General Adem Huduti, who is the most senior officer detained so far. Huduti commanded the Second Army Corps based in Malatya, which protects Turkey's borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran.

READ MORE: 188 arrest warrants issued for members of Turkey’s supreme courts

The Malatya Garrison Commander Avni Angun, and the Third Army Corps commander, General Erdal Ozturk, were also detained, Hurriyet reported.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim reported that, in total, 2,839 soldiers and officers implicated in the overnight coup attempt have been arrested. Arrest warrants have also been issued for 140 Constitutional Court members and 48 members of the Council of State.

Ten members of the Council of State, Turkey’s top administrative court, have already been detained, NTV broadcaster reported. Turkish police also reportedly arrested two members of the Constitutional Court, the most senior judicial body.

In the meantime, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the people in Istanbul's Uskudar district, accusing “foreign forces” and particularly the Gulen movement, led by the US-based Turkish preacher and former imam, Fethullah Gulen, of staging the attempted coup.

President Erdogan also called on his US counterpart, Barack Obama, to “either arrest Fethullah Gulen or return him to Turkey.”

At the same time, all parliamentary parties issued a joint statement decrying the coup attempt as they gathered in an emergency session of the Turkish National Assembly.

The session, which started with a moment of silence to honor those killed in the clashes in Istanbul and Ankara overnight, was attended by almost a hundred ambassadors, excluding those from the US and the UK, that expressed their solidarity with the Turkish government, as reported by the Turkish media.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, who also attended the session, once again stated that those who staged the coup, will “receive the necessary punishment,” Daily Sabah reported.

“Those who tried to topple the government elected by the people, have been toppled by the people,'' Yıldırım said, adding at the same time, that cooperation with the parliament will mark a new start for Turkey.

Outside the parliament building in Ankara, thousands of people took to the streets once again to denounce the attempted coup and to show their solidarity with the government. The demonstrators were waving Turkish national flags and chanting slogans in favor of democracy.

The crowd can also be heard chanting “Allahu Akbar!”

A group within the Turkish military attempted to stage a coup on Friday night, using tanks and attack helicopters. The conspiracy failed, as they didn’t manage to capture any senior government officials and couldn’t win wide support from the Turkish military.

At least 265 people were killed, including 104 pro-coup participants, while 1,440 people were injured in military action in the capital, Ankara, and the country’s largest city, Istanbul.