Turkish Officials Declare Coup Over, Nearly 3,000 Soldiers Arrested

Turkish solders stay at Taksim square as people protest agaist the military coup in Istanbul on July 16, 2016.Photo by Jennifer Ciochon/ UPI | License Photo

ANKARA, Turkey, July 16 (UPI) — Turkish government officials declared the attempted military coup in the country finished as nearly 3,000 soldiers were arrested.

According to the BBC, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the coup a “black stain on Turkish democracy” and said 2,839 soldiers were arrested, at least 160 people were killed and 1,440 wounded.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also stated the government remained in control following the attempted coup which begun late Friday night as members of the nation’s military attempted to forcibly seize power in the capital, Ankara, and in Istanbul.

“In Turkey the army is not governing the state and they cannot, and this should be known by all,” said Erdogan who was vacationing in southwest Turkey when the coup began, according to USA Today. “The government is in control.”

It was also reported that soldiers who had taken over the Chief of General Staff Headquarters during the coup requested negotiations to surrender.

General Umit Dundar, who was newly appointed as the acting military chief, said 104 “coup plotters” were killed, as well as 41 police officers and 47 others.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg shared a tweet confirming all NATO personnel in Turkey remained safe.

“I have spoken to SACEUR Gen Scaparrotti. He confirms that all NATO personnel and units in Turkey are safe and secure,” he wrote.

Erdogan blamed the coup on a “parallel structure,” a term used by the government to reference followers of U.S. based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen

Gulen denied any involvement, saying he condemned “in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey.”

Erdogan also said that “rogue elements” in the military involved in the coup would “pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey” and “those who stain the military’s reputation must leave. The process has started today, and it will continue just as we fight other terrorist groups.”

The BBC reported Greek police said a military helicopter carrying eight men, mostly in military uniforms and believed to be part of the coup, landed in the country seeking asylum.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey demanded the “eight treacherous officers who fled to Greece by helicopter” be extradited.

Greece arrested the eight men after they landed and an official said they will appear before a Greek prosecutor on Sunday.

Turkish television reported about 2,745 judges and five High Judiciary Court Board were removed from duty as a result of the failed coup.


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