Turkey awoke this morning to scenes of carnage and destruction, after an overnight coup attempt was quashed when president Recep Tayyip Erdogan used FaceTime to call on citizens to stop it.
The death toll rose to at least 265 around noon on July 16, when Prime Minister Benali Yildirim announced that 161 “martyrs” had been killed, in addition to at least 104 coup participants. More than 1,400 people were wounded, and about 2,800 arrested in connection with the coup, which he said was backed by a “parallel terrorist organization.” More than 2,700 judges have been removed from duty, reports Reuters.
Turkey’s intelligence agency had declared the coup over in the early hours of the morning, and said the Air Force was responsible.
The military-backed coup declared itself in control on Friday evening (July 15,) accusing Erdogan’s government of destroying Turkey’s secular tradition. CNN Turk, Hurriyet Daily and other media were briefly taken over in the coup and the Parliament building bombed.
In some instances, mobs of citizens attacked the soldiers behind the coup, after leaving their homes prompted by Erdogan’s message and an overnight call from local mosques:
Police supporting Erdogan surrounded other groups of soldiers and forced their surrender. In Istanbul, coup-backing soldiers abandoned tanks on the Bosphorus bridge:
And civilians climbed the tanks to celebrate and took selfies in front of them:
Residents of Ankara woke up to the aftermath of the tanks that rolled through the city the night before.
Citizens, mostly men, gathered outside the Parliament building in Ankara. They stood around in tense groups, carrying Turkish flags and listening to the government radio broadcast, which had been briefly taken over by the military overnight.
The prime minister’s office was damaged:
At the military headquarters, alleged leaders of the coup were photographed being forced to strip to their underwear after their surrender.
Some were videotaped being forcibly stripped by their captors.
In Malatya, in the southern half of the country, shots were still being heard after 9am.
While the government has retaken control of Turkey, the country’s future remains uncertain. The strength of the coup shows the depth of anger at Erdogan, who has ruled an increasingly unstable Turkey since 2003.