Turkish military chief rescued after being held during coup bid; over 1,500 arrested in connection to failed overthrow of government, with remaining renegade army forces set to surrender after 90 killed overnight.
Turkish authorities have detained 1,563 military personnel across the country after a coup attempt overnight by a faction of the military, an official told Reuters, with Turkey’s state-run news agency reporting that some 200 unarmed soldiers have left Turkey’s military headquarters, surrendering to police.
At least 90 people were killed and over 1,000 wounded during the attempted overnight military coup, a senior official said.
The head of Turkey’s armed forces has been rescued after being held hostage during the attempted coup which used tanks and attack helicopters to try to seize power overnight, a senior Turkish official said.
Hulusi Akar had been held by rebel soldiers during the attempted coup,
Turkish broadcasters said. The Turkish government has also dismissed five generals and 29 colonels, after the failed coup overnight, local NTV reported early Saturday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who returned to Istanbul, warned coup supporters that “they will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey,” according to a transcript of his remarks provided by his office.
“Those who stain the military’s reputation must leave. The process has started today, and it will continue just as we fight other terrorist groups.”
Turkey’s Police Chief Celalettin Lekesiz says 16 coup plotters have been killed in clashes at Turkey’s military police command. He says clashes at the command are continuing but “are about to come to an end.”
An official said the pro-coup soldiers did not control any fighter jets and that the helicopters they were still using would be brought down swiftly.
Attacks on parliament and the presidential palace had largely stopped, the official said.
An email from the Turkish military General Staff’s press office address said on Saturday the faction of officers behind an attempted military coup overnight was still determinedly fighting all those who try to oppose it.