Hundreds of people are now thought to have been killed, many of them civilians, and over one thousand wounded following an attempted military coup in Turkey.
A total of 2,839 members of Turkey’s military have been detained in connection with an attempted coup overnight, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday (July 16).
Those detained included ordinary soldiers and high-ranking officers.
Yildirim told a news conference in the capital Ankara that the situation was fully under control and that “our commanders” were in charge of the military.
He called on Turkish citizens to fill town and city squares with flags on Saturday evening and said parliament would meet at 1200 GMT to discuss the attempt.
He said about 20 of the people who planned the overnight coup in Turkey were dead and 30 more were wounded, adding those who formed the back bone of coup plotters were detained.
He emphasised that any country standing by the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen would not be a friend of Turkey and would be considered at war with the NATO member.
“Especially after what happened last night, I don’t believe any country would stand by this man (U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen), by this terrorist leader. Any country that would do that is not a friend to Turkey. Any country that would stand by him is at war with Turkey,” Yildirim said.
The government said that followers of Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States for years, were behind the attempted coup by a faction of the military on Friday (July 15).
The government accuses Gulen of trying to build a “parallel structure” within the judiciary, education system, media and military as a way to overthrow the state, a charge the cleric denies.
Meanwhile, Istanbul’s busy Ataturk Airport reopened on saturday morning, hours after the airport closed due to a failed coup attempt on Friday night in the country.