Update: 6,000 Reportedly Detained After Failed Coup In Turkey

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Update: At least 6,000 people in Turkey have been detained in a government crackdown on alleged plotters following Friday's failed coup attempt, The Associated Press reported.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ told press in a television interview that "the cleansing (operation) is continuing. Some 6,000 detentions have taken place. The number could surpass 6,000."
According to The BBC, the 6,000 detainees include high-ranking soldiers and over 2,000 judges.

Bozdağ also seemed confident that the U.S. would extradite Gülen, who the Turkish president has blamed for the failed coup attempt.
Update July 16, 2016, 4:15 p.m. EDT: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called for the extradition of Pennsylvania-based religious leader Fethullah Gülen, who he believes is behind the recent failed coup in Turkey, The Guardian reported. Gülen has denied all allegations that he was behind the attempt.

“I don’t believe that the world believes the accusations made by President Erdoğan,” Gülen told the newspaper. He suggested that the coup could have been staged and stated that he rejected all military interventions.

“Now that Turkey is on the path to democracy, it cannot turn back,” Erdoğan said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had previously said that the United States would consider extradition of Gülen, but that Turkish authorities would have to prove wrongdoing.

Update July 16, 2016, 10:25 a.m. EDT: At least 265 people have been killed in the apparently failed coup attack in Turkey, according to The New York Times, including 104 supporters of the coup.

Turkish state media said that authorities have detained 10 members of the country’s highest administrative court in the aftermath of the apparently failed military coup, The Associated Press reported on Saturday. The government is reportedly purging judiciary officials affiliated with Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames for the attack. Arrest warrants were issued for 48 members of the administrative courts and more than 2,500 judges across the country have reportedly been fired.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press conference in Luxembourg that the United States would entertain an extradition request for Gülen, an exile who currently lives in Pennsylvania. He also stated that the United States opposed any attempt to overthrow a democratically elected leader, The New York Times reported.

Update July 16, 8:35 a.m. EDT:
An attempted military coup in Turkey appears to have failed, with the president of the nation declaring control and saying that those involved "will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey." The Associated Press reported. More than 140 people died in the clashes, including 47 civilians, according to The AP.
Update July 16, 12:33 a.m. EDT:A Turkish official says 60 people have died. 150 have been wounded, and more than 330 people have been arrested in the hours since the coup began.

Despite the stunning sight of soldiers abandoning their tanks and surrendering to civilians on the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul — shown live on Turkish television — sporadic fighting continues in Ankara. More bomb attacks on parliament have been reported and Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency news agency reports that a military helicopter used by insurgents to attack the Turksat satellite station was shot down in the outskirts of the capital. F-16s have also attacked coup-aligned tanks in the area.

Soldiers who raided the offices of CNN Turk, taking the network off the air, have been arrested.

Though there are still pockets of conflict, Erdoğan seemed confident, telling supporters at the airport, "They have pointed the people's guns against the people. The president, whom 52 percent of the people brought to power, is in charge. This government brought to power by the people, is in charge. They won't succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything."

Though it's been taken over by Erdoğan loyalists, Reuters reports that Attaturk airport continues to divert flights.
Update July 15, 10:02 p.m. EDT : A large crowd greeted President Erdoğan as he returned to the country, landing at Ataturk airport.

quotes Erdogan as saying that he vows to "clean up" the army, calling their actions "an act of treason."

Across town in Taksim Square, explosions were heard before 30 soldiers surrendered to police. According to an official at the president's office, more than 50 soldiers have been arrested in Istanbul while "large crowds have carried out multiple citizen arrests."
Update July 15 8:59 p.m. EDT: According to a top Turkish official, the coup has apparently failed. The Associated Press reports that the official said "all government officials are in charge of their offices," but added that the chief of military staff has yet to appear in public.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also said the situation was under control and blamed followers of Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who supports a tolerant, altruistic version of Islam. According to ABC news, the coup consisted of 104 soldiers loyal to "Col Muharrem Kose, recently dismissed as Gülen member." However, A group with close ties to Gülen denied any involvement.

Two anti-coup civilian protestors were reportedly killed in clashes with the insurrectionists in Istanbul, while in Ankara, some injuries were reported after an apparent bomb attack on the parliament.
Update July 15 7:34 p.m. EDT: In Istanbul, soldiers have fired upon citizens attempting to cross the Bosphorus bridge in protest of the coup, the AP reports. Graphic injuries have been reported.

In Ankara, 17 police officers have been killed in a helicopter attack on their headquarters. Army F-16 jets are reportedly engaging the helicopters, which are being used by those behind the coup, according to the BBC.

MSNBC reports that Turkish President Erdoğan has fled the country and is seeking asylum in Germany, which has refused to allow his plane to land. It also reports that the FAA will allow commercial flights from Turkey to land in the United States.

President Obama has spoken with John Kerry, releasing a statement saying "[a]ll parties in Turkey should support democratically-elected government, show restraint."


Here's the full text of The White House statement.

The U.S. State Department reminds Americans in Turkey that martial law and a curfew is in effect, and to contact loved ones via email/SMS/telephone if social media channels are blocked.
Update July 15 6:10 p.m. EDT: Access to social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been blocked in Turkey, though some people appear to still have access.

Turkish President President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appeared on Turkish CNN via FaceTime
calling the coup the act of a "parallel structure," encouraging people to go out on the streets to support him.


Reuters reports that Turkish state broadcaster TRT has gone off air after "soldiers reportedly took control of its offices and an announcer read out a statement declaring martial law."

State-run Anadolu news agency has confirmed "Gunshots heard around Presidential Complex in Ankara, witnesses say military helicopters fired."

President Obama has been apprised of the situation and the U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert in a series of Tweets, saying, "Turkish government states elements of Turkish army attempting uprising. Security forces attempting to contain. Some buildings under blockade. If in #Turkey:monitor local press for updates, avoid areas of conflict, & exercise caution if in vicinity of any military or security forces."
This story was originally published at 4:47 p.m. EDT on July 15.
The Turkish military has taken position in strategic positions around the nation in an apparent coup attempt. The Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul have been blocked by tanks, as well as Istanbul's Ataturk airport, which was the target of a terror attack in June. All flights have been cancelled, according to the BBC.

In the capital of Ankara, there are reports of gunshots fired and low-flying fighter jets and helicopters.

Asked about a possible coup attempt, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim denied an actual coup, telling NTV television: "There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command. Our people should know that we will not allow any activity that would harm democracy."

Meanwhile, per the Associated Press, the Turkish military claims to have "fully seized control" of the country "to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated." Adding, "all international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, currently in Russia, said he "hopes for stability, peace, continuity in Turkey as coup apparently under way."

A majority Muslim country, Turkey is a democracy that's home to roughly 80 million people. It is also a member of NATO.


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