Turkish loyalists reported arresting 1,563 soldiers and officers implicated in an overnight coup attempt; 29 colonels and five generals were sacked. At least 60 people were killed in bombings and skirmishes in Istanbul and Ankara.
The rebels reportedly have several helicopter gunships in their disposal, but loyalists have threatened to shoot them down as they downed at least one aircraft carrying out attacks on government buildings.
A faction of the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the government on Friday night, employing tanks and attack helicopters. The conspiracy appears to have failed, however, as they didn’t manage to capture any senior government officials and couldn’t win wide support from the Turkish military.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on his civilian supporters to take to the streets of Istanbul, which they did. Rebel soldiers, who called on the population to stay indoors, apparently didn’t have the resolve to launch a full-scale war against civilians in Turkey’s biggest city.
The coup attempt began on Friday night when warplanes and helicopters buzzed over Ankara and rebel troops moved in to seal off the bridges over the Bosphorus Strait.
Tanks attacked several government buildings, including the Turkish parliament, as lawmakers hid in shelters inside the building.
Several airports were shut down and access to social media was blocked in the first hours of turmoil.