Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has returned to Istanbul amid an attempted military coup, accusing rebel leaders of treason: ”They will pay for what they did.”
Erdogan’s dramatic arrival at Ataturk airport—the scene of a bloody terrorist attack last month—signaled that the tide was turning back in his favor. Hours earlier, a group of military leaders claimed to be in control of the country and tried to declare martial law after seizing bridges, airports, and state-run broadcasters.
Just hours earlier, he was forced to use the FaceTime messaging app, piped through Al Jazeera, to appeal to his followers to take to the streets in his defense: “I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports. I never believed in a power higher than the power of the people.”
At a news conference in Istanbul, Erdogan blamed the followers of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish religious scholar and longtime political enemy of the Turkish leader, for the coup.
Clashes between Erdogan supporters and the military resulted in six deaths and about 100 injuries, a hospital source told ABC News.