The military coup attempt in Turkey has failed after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan‘s call to take to the streets to support him.
Erdogan, who had been holidaying on the coast when the coup was launched, flew into Istanbul before dawn on Saturday and was shown on TV appearing among a crowd of supporters outside the airport, which the coup plotters had failed to secure.
Heavy gunfire and explosions rocked Istanbul and capital Ankara in a chaotic night after soldiers took up positions in both cities and ordered state television to read out a statement declaring they had taken power.
But Reuters reports that by early Saturday, its journalists saw around 30 pro-coup soldiers surrender their weapons after being surrounded by armed police in Istanbul’s central Taksim square.
About 42 people have been reported killed, including a General who led the revolt.
An opposition MP told Reuters parliament was hit three times and that people had been wounded.
A Turkish military commander was quoted as saying that fighter jets had shot down a helicopter used by the coup plotters over Ankara. State-run Anadolu news agency said 17 police were killed at special forces headquarters there.
As the night wore on, momentum turned against the coup plotters. Crowds defied orders to stay indoors, gathering at major squares in Istanbul and Ankara, waving flags and chanting.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who had earlier raised the alarm of “illegal” military movements in President Erdogan’s absence, blamed U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen movement but a U.S.-based organization close to Gulen earlier denied involvement.
Turkish Airlines have announced:
All flights to resume as normal to Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport Saturday at 06:00 local
Sources: Reuters, VOA