Skip to navigationSkip to content

Turkey’s president is back in Istanbul, and the military coup against him is foundering

AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, protest in front of soldiers in Istanbul’s Taksim square.
By Adam Pasick
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

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.”

Reuters/Kenan Gurbuz
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to media in the resort town of Marmaris, Turkey, July 15, 2016.

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.


📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.