A military coup attempt in Turkey on Friday night has left at least 60 people dead and hundreds injured. Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose whereabouts had been unknown for hours after the plotters claimed to have taken control of Tukey flew into Istanbul Ataturk Airport from an undisclosed location early Saturday and said that the coup was failing. Speaking at a news conference, Erdogan said the attempt to push him from power was “an act of treason” and that those behind the plot would “pay a heavy price”.
There are still pockets of resistance in Istanbul and the capital Ankara, the Reuters news agency reported, quoting an official who said he did not expect them to last long.
Martial law was declared in Tukey. 754 members of the armed forces were detained across the country, the state-run Anadolu Agency said.
In Ankara, jets dropped bombs over the Bestepe district, where the presidential palace is located, with plumes of black smoke seen rising early on Saturday, NTV reported.
There were also reports of an explosion at the parliament building in the capital. CNN Turk reported that 12 civilians had died in an explosion at the Parliament building.
The state-run Anadolu News Agency said 17 police officers had been killed in a military helicopter attack by coup plotters on a police special forces headquarters outside Ankara, the capital. The prosecutor’s office in Ankara said 42 people, mostly civilians, had been killed in clashes in the city.
The events began unfolding around 10 p.m. Friday as the military moved to stop traffic over two of Istanbul’s bridges, which cross the Bosporus and connect the European and Asian sides of the city.
There were reports of gunfire in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square, where pro-Erdogan supporters had gathered, but there were no reports of injuries, and it appeared that security forces were acting with restraint.
Earlier Erdogan used his iPhone’s FaceTime app from a secret location to broadcast messages beseeching the public to resist the coup attempt.
After Erdogan spoke, many followers obeyed his orders to go into the streets, and mosque loudspeakers urged his supporters to protest the coup attempt.
Leaders of opposition political parties, who have otherwise worked against Mr. Erdogan’s government, also spoke out against a seizure of the government by the military.