A coup attempt by a large number of soldiers, including some high-ranking generals, plunged Turkey into a long night of violence and intrigue on Friday. A no fly zone is announced on an airspace including Istanbul, Bursa and Tekirdag.
A chaotic night began late Friday with reports of soldiers trying to wrestle control of bridges and key functions in major cities, and turned into a nightmare when army helicopters began airstrikes and shelled key locations in the capital, Ankara.
Bombs struck near the Turkish Grand Assembly, witnesses said, injuring 12 people, and leaving two in critical condition.
Now the situation is largely under control. It is reported that 1,374 military personnel were detained across Turkey as part of an investigation into the coup attempt. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew back from a vacation resort to Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, where thousands defied the rebel troops and swarmed their tanks to greet him.
Speaking to live television, the president vowed to deliver a decisive blow to coup leaders and urged civilians to resist the rebels. “Those who stain the military’s reputation must leave,” he said. “The process has started today and it will continue.”
Forces loyal to the president rescued the country’s top military commander, Gen. Hulusi Akar, who had been held captive by coup plotters.
The Marmara Region covering a large area including Istanbul, Bursa, and Tekirdag is announced as a no-fly zone until 9.05pm Saturday night. The ban excludes state, ambulances and fire-fighting aircrafts. Check with your airline as the airports might be closed to arrivals and departures.
Source: AgenciesPhoto Credit: AA