265 killed as Turkish coup bid crumbles, Erdogan returns

ANKARA: Scores of members from Turkish armed forces were arrested across the country after a coup attempt blamed by the government on supporters of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

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754 members of Turkish armed forces were arrested for involvement in the coup, the agency said. A Turkish official added that 29 colonels and 5 generals had been removed from their posts. At least 265 people were killed in the turmoil.

Jets bombed near Turkey’s presidential palace in Ankara early Saturday as an army faction attempted to bring down the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Plumes of black smoke were seen rising over the Bestepe district where the palace is located, NTV television reported.

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A Turkish army faction backed by tanks and fighter jets staged an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday but the strongman returned to Istanbul defiantly claiming to have regained control.

Soldiers and tanks took to the streets late on Friday and multiple explosions rang out throughout the night in Ankara and Istanbul, the two biggest cities of the strategic NATO country of 80 million people.

World powers urge ‘stability’ in Turkey

At least 265 people have been killed and 336 detained in a night of violence across Turkey sparked when elements in the military staged an attempted coup, a senior Turkish official said.

The majority of those killed were civilians and most of those detained are soldiers, said the official, without giving further details.

Erdogan predicted that the move would fail and crowds of supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came out onto the streets to try to block the putsch.

After hours of chaos unseen in decades, the president ended uncertainty over his whereabouts, flying into Istanbul airport in the early hours of the morning where he made a defiant speech and was greeted by hundreds of supporters.

Erdogan denounced the coup attempt as “treachery” but said he was carrying out his functions and would keep on working “to the end”.

“What is being perpetrated is a treason and a rebellion. They will pay a heavy price for this act of treason,” Erdogan said at Istanbul’s airport. “We will not leave our country to occupiers.”

Hours after Turkish troops claimed they had seized power, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said those responsible for the attempted coup will pay a ‘heavy price’.

With Turkish officials insisting the coup was faltering and Erdogan ordering the army to shoot down planes being used by the plotters, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said 120 of those involved had been arrested.

While addressing a press conference upon his arrival at Istanbul’s Ankara Airport, Erdogan said the uprising was an act of treason. Agencies