Almost 3,000 soldiers that include some high-ranking officers were arrested following a coup attempt in Turkey that is now over said the country’s leaders.
The government said that 161 people were killed and over 1,440 injured during the overnight coup attempt. Gunfire and explosions could be heard in Istanbul, the nation’s capital of Ankara and in other places.
Thousands of Turks heeded the call by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to rise up, take the streets and defeat the coup-plotters.
It still is unclear who was behind the coup. Erdogan put blame on a parallel structure in what many know is a clear reference to Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who is powerful but reclusive cleric based in the U.S.
However, through a prepared statement Gulen rejected the suggestion he was linked to Friday’s events saying he condemned the attempted coup in strongest terms.
Events started Friday evening when tanks appeared on two bridges in Istanbul over the Bosphorus Strait. Troops could be seen throughout the streets and military jets flew over the city of Ankara.
Shortly thereafter, a statement was released by a faction within the army saying a peace council was operating the country and that marital law as well as a curfew would be in force.
That group said it launched the coup to restore and ensure constitutional order, democracy, freedoms and human rights.
It said the secular and democratic rule of law eroded due to the current government and a new constitution would be implemented.
President Erdogan was on holiday in the southern part of the country in Marmaris when the coup started. He made an address on television through a mobile phone that urged people to take the streets in opposition of the uprising.
He flew back to Istanbul saying Marmaris was bombed after he had left.
During a speech at the airport in Istanbul Erdogan said, what is taking place is treason and there will be a heavy price paid by those who started the coup.
The presidential and parliament buildings were attacked, with a bomb hitting the parliament complex. It is believed that members of parliament were hiding inside shelters.
Gunfire could be heard outside the headquarters of the Istanbul police and tanks were at the Istanbul airport.
As of midday on Saturday in Turkey, the government said control had been restored.