An attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble on Saturday after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets to support him and dozens of rebel soldiers abandoned their tanks in the main city of Istanbul.
At least 160 people were killed in violence that erupted on Friday after a faction of the armed forces attempted to seize power, officials said.
A successful overthrow of Mr. Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003, would have marked one of the biggest shifts in the Middle East in years, transforming one of the most important U.S. allies while war rages on its border. A failed coup attempt could still destabilise a pivotal country.
Mr. Erdogan, who had been holidaying on the southwest coast when the coup was launched, flew into Istanbul before dawn on Saturday and was shown on TV among a crowd of supporters outside Ataturk Airport.
Helpline numbers for Indians in Turkey - Ankara: +905303142203 Istanbul: +905305671095
7:15 pm: Turkish authorities imposed a security lockdown at the Incirlik air base in the southern province of Adana used by US and other coalition forces in the fight against jihadists in Syria.
6:50 pm: US and Russia have suspended their flights to Turkey. Lufthansa too cancelled all flights to Turkey. British Airways went further and cancelled all its Saturday flights to and from Turkey "in light of the events unfolding" there, a company spokeswoman said.
6:30 pm: Turkey’s state—run news agency says five warships which reportedly set sail during the attempted coup have returned to their military port in northwest Turkey. The Anadolu Agency says Saturday the five frigates and one corvette arrived at the military naval installation at Golcuk on Saturday.
6:00 pm: The Greek government says a Turkish Blackhawk helicopter will be returned to Turkey “as soon as possible” but it will examine the asylum demand made by eight military personnel who were arrested after landing Saturday.
Spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili says- “The government is in contact with the Turkish authorities for...the return of the military helicopter as soon as possible.”
As for the eight military passengers, “we will follow the procedures of international law. However, we give very serious considerations to the fact that (the Turkish military men) are accused, in their country, of violating the constitutional order and trying to overthrow democracy,” she added.
Greek police say that the eight arrested Turks include two majors, four captains and two sergeants first class. This differs from Turkish sources that said they were two majors, a captain sand five privates.
5:40 pm: Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency says all soldiers involved in the attempted coup at the military headquarters in the capital, Ankara, have been taken into custody.
The report says anti-terrorism police will now conduct a “detailed search” at the headquarters.
5:15 pm: Turkey’s state-run news agency says a top body overseeing judges and prosecutors has dismissed 2,745 judges across the country.
Anadolu Agency says the emergency meeting of the Judges and Prosecutors High Council was held Saturday, hours after Turkish forces quashed an attempted coup.
The report said the meeting was called to discuss disciplinary measures against members suspected of links to the movement led by the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. The government says the attempted coup was carried out by a clique within the military loyal to Gulen’s movement.
4.40 pm: Indian athletes in Turkey who went for International School Athletic Competition requests government to rescue them, reports ANI.
Now, we aren't sure about the fate of the game. Request the Indian Govt to help in rescuing us from here-Tamil Selvi >pic.twitter.com/LFRSE4UxuV— ANI (@ANI_news) >July 16, 2016
Landed in Turkey on July 11 fr World School Championship, later heard abt blasts in Ankara. We're safe in Trabzon: Tamil Selvi,1 of athelete— ANI (@ANI_news) >July 16, 2016
WATCH: Stranded Indian athletes in Turkey who went for Int'l School Athletic Competition requests GoI to rescue them >https://t.co/k3jlcP5NcS— ANI (@ANI_news) >July 16, 2016
4.12 pm: AFP reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister has requested Greece to extradite eight "putschists" who fled.
4.05 pm: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim blamed the coup attempt on the supporters of U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara has for years accused of working to overthrow the authorities and wants to see brought to justice.
The United States has shown little interest so far to Turkey’s requests for his extradition.
“Fethullah Gulen is the leader of a terrorist organisation,” the premier said.
“Whichever country is behind him is not a friend of Turkey and in a serious war against Turkey,” he added.
3.50 pm: The Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci says commanders of Turkish troops deployed in the breakaway north of ethnically divided Cyprus remain loyal to Turkey’s military command and that the coup attempt has “no effect” on the Mediterranean island.
He tells Turkish Cypriot broadcaster BRT that authorities “have taken a variety of precautionary measures to prevent provocations” in the north and that military commanders “are carrying out their duties within the chain of command”.
3.40 pm: Turkish military helicopter lands in Greece, eight request asylum, reports AFP quoting Greek police.
The Black Hawk helicopter landed after sending a distress signal to authorities at the airport in Alexandroupolis in the country's north. Seven of those on board were in military uniform and all are believed to have been involved in the coup bid, AFP reports citing ERT TV.
3.08 pm: Situation 'completely under control' after coup attempt, Turkis PM Yildrim says adding 2,839 soldiers are now detained on suspicion of involvement.
3.05 pm: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim denounces a bid by a group in the military to topple his government as a "black stain" on Turkish democracy. "The night of July 15, Friday is a black stain on Turkish democracy," Mr. Yildirim says, adding that "we have averted serious trouble."
3 pm: Indian Sports Minister Vijay Goel says said all 149 Indian athletes participating in the World School Games at Trabzon in Turkey are safe.
“I have contacted the Ministry of External Affairs and India’s Ambassador to Turkey and they have confirmed that the 149 athletes participating in the world games in Trabzon area of Turkey are safe,” PTI quotes him as saying in Bengaluru.
Mr. Goel also says that he has ascertained from the organisers and the School Games Federation of India (SGFI), that all children are safe and the games are on, adding the Sports Authority of India has set up a control room with the help of SGFI.
2: 35 pm: Turkey’s Anadolu Agency is reporting that soldiers who have taken over the Chief of General Staff Headquarters as part of an attempted coup have requested negotiations to surrender.
The agency is quoting a Turkish official at the presidency, that is the last base the coup supporters hold.
1:50 pm: Some 104 coup plotters were killed after a coup attempt to bring down the Turkish government, the acting Army chief says.
"The coup attempt has been foiled," General Umit Dundar says in televised appearance, adding that 90 people — 41 of them police and 47 are civilians — "fell martrys." He also says many commanders were taken to "unknown locations".
1:30 pm: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile uses Twitter to call on people to remain in the streets, warning against a new flare-up.
President Erdoğan: “The President and the government are on duty; let us not leave the streets” >https://t.co/AuZEQhMaSW— Turkish Presidency (@trpresidency) >July 16, 2016
In a night that sometimes verged on the bizarre, Mr. Erdogan used social media to speak to the Turkish people - even though he is an avowed enemy of such technology when his opponents use it, frequently targetting Twitter and Facebook.
At one point Mr. Erdogan effectively addressed the nation via a video calling service, appearing on the smart phone of a CNN Turk reporter who held it up to a studio camera so that viewers to the network could see him.
12.40 pm: Nearly 200 unarmed soldiers at the Turkish military headquarters have surrendered, AFP reports quoting an official, adding that special troops were currently securing the complex.
12.25 pm: 90 die, 1,154 wounded in Turkey coup attempt, AFP reports quoting state news agency.
12.07 pm: Turkish parliament sits for extraordinary session after coup attempt; A total of 1,563 military officers detained across Turkey, AFP reports quoting a government official.
11.55 am: For those have joined our live coverage now, here's >what we know about the Turkey coup attempt so far.
11.28 am: Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan was at secure location, in constant contact with President and PM through coup attempt, Reuters reports quoting a source
11.26 am: Military helicopters attack Turkish intelligence agency HQ, reports Reuters.
11.01 am: The head of Turkey's armed forces has been rescued after being held hostage during an attempted coup by a military faction which used tanks and attack helicopters to try to seize power overnight, Reuters reports quoting a senior Turkish official said. Hulusi Akar was held by rebel soldiers during the attempted coup, the agency says quoting Turkish broadcasters.
10.55 am: Turkey’s police chief says 16 coup plotters have been killed in clashes at Turkey’s paramilitary headquarters; 250 detained.
10.40 am: Fethullah Gulen, the US-based cleric and former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, denies being behind the attempted coup in Turkey and condemned it "in the strongest terms". >Read more .
Mr. Erdogan has accused the reclusive Islamic preacher, who lives in a tiny town in the Pocono Mountains of the U.S. State of Pennsylvania, of being behind the coup.
10.32 am: Turkish official says 29 Colonels and 5 Generals removed from posts in military after coup attempt.
10.16 am: Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reports 754 members of armed forces have been detained across the country.
10.05 am: Erdogan enemy Gulen denies his participation, says: "As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations."
10.00 am: The coup attempt shows that Mr. Erdogan hasn't won completely in pacifying the discontents within the army.
9.50 am: Erdogan's enemy Gulen strongly condemns attempted Turkey coup: statement.
"As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations," Gulen said in a brief statement just before midnight Friday.
9.47 am: At least 60 people killed and 336 detained in the night of violence across Turkey. The majority of those killed are civilians and most of those detained are soldiers, a official says.
9.36 am: Turkey appoints new acting army chief of staff after coup bid: PM. > Read more
9.30 am: Dozens of soldiers backing the coup against the government surrenderes on the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul that they had held throughout the night, television pictures shows.
9.26 am: Turkish F-16s launch air strikes against tanks outside palace, says presidential source.
9.15 am: Update from Istanbul - President Erdogan blamed the coup attempt on followers of > Fethullah Gulen , an exiled cleric based in Pennsylvania, whose “Hizmet” movement is regularly accused of plotting against the government. The Alliance for Shared Values, a U.S.-based non-profit associated with Gulen, released a statement, saying the movement has “consistently denounced military interventions in domestic politics.” Suleyman Aydogan of the Peace Islands Institute, another group linked to Gulen, confirmed that Gulen himself may soon issue a statement condemning the violence—a rare move for a reclusive cleric. ( Input from Noah Caldwell, freelance journalist)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and United States-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. Photo: AFP
9.08 am:Update from Istanbul - In Istanbul, jets could be heard flying low above the city throughout the night, with reports on social media of windows shattering from the planes’ sonic booms. Gunfire could be heard in the central Beyoglu neighborhood—a tourist hub—between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.. The newsrooms of CNN Turk and Hurriyet , also in Istanbul, were briefly occupied by rebelling military officers. ( Input from Noah Caldwell, freelance journalist)
9.05 am: The United States, Russia, NATO and the European Union appealed for stability, with U.S. President Barack Obama calling on all parties in Turkey to back the "democratically-elected" government. > Read more
9.00 am: Istanbul airport is under control of soldiers loyal to government, says a senior Turkish official.
8.48 am: "Indian nationals should not travel to Turkey until situation is normal," tweets External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj.
Indian nationals in Turkey : Pl avoid public places and stay indoors. Helpline : Ankara: +905303142203 Istanbul: +905305671095— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) >July 16, 2016
8.10 am: 17 of those killed in Ankara were police officers, prosecutor's office says.
8.02 am: 42 people killed, most of them civilians, during attampted coup, a senior official confirms. > More...
7.52 am: Turkish officials say coup attempt appears to have failed.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview over FaceTime with the CNN Turk station, dismisses the military action as “an attempt at an uprising by a minority within our armed forces.” > Read more
7.35 am: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has instructed the military to shoot down an aircraft hijacked by coup plotters , an official says on Saturday.
"Fighter jets have left the air base in Eskisehir" in western Turkey with the aim of hunting down the rogue craft, the official informs.
7.30 am: Turkish PM orders military to shoot down aircraft hijacked by coup plotters.
7.10 am: Turkey PM says more than 120 arrested over coup attempt.
7.05 am: President says his hotel on Turkey's Aegean coast bombed after he left.
7.00 am: Mr. Erdogan says he doesn't know whereabouts of Turkey army chief.
6.45 am: Hundreds of supporters greets President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he lands at Istanbul airport.
Cheering supporters surrounded Mr. Erdogan's cortege of cars directly on the tarmac after the plane carrying him landed at Ataturk International Airport, which was otherwise closed to traffic, NTV television pictures showed.
6.15 am: A place carrying Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is about to land at Istanbul's Ataturk airport on Saturday after a military coup attempt to bring down his government, a presidential source says.
People take to streets in Ankara during the protest agaist military coup. Photo: AFP
5.45 am: Group of soldiers raid major Turkey private media group: CNN Turk
5.30 am: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says the situation in Turkey was "largely under control", in comments to NTV television.
5.05 am: Gulen movement condemns Turkey coup attempt.
4.50 am: Turkish parliament in Ankara hit by bombing, reports state news agency.
4.30 am: Turkey's MIT spy agency says situation 'back to normal' after coup attempt: spokesman.
4.11 am: Commander of Turkey's "First Army" division says those attempting coup are small faction, and "nothing to worry about".
4.06 am: European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged "restraint" in Turkey after an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "In constant contact with EU Delegation in Ankara & Brussels from Mongolia. Call for restraint and respect for democratic institutions #Turkey," she tweeted from a regional summit in Ulan Bator.
4.01 am: NATO hasn’t responded immediately to a request for comment on how alliance operations or Turkey’s status might be affected after the military said it seized control of the country. Independent observers noted that the 1949 treaty that created the U.S. alliance has no mechanism for suspending members, unlike the United Nations, the European Union or the Organization of American States.
4.00 am: Turkish military helicopters open fire at National Intelligence Agency HQ in Ankara, says state-run Anadolu agency.
3.55 am: The official added that security forces still facing some difficulties in parts of Ankara and Istanbul. The official added that he believes insecurity will continue for next 24 hours but will be contained.
3.52 am: Senior Turkish official says loyalist forces are gaining control over elements trying to overthrow government.
3.50 am: Senior Turkish official says forces attempting coup have been unable to take over streets in many areas.
3.48 am: Turkish Deputy PM Kurtulmus says government is still in charge.
3.47 am: Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reporting military helicopter has attacked Ankara police headquarters.
3.41 am: A military helicopter opened fire over the Turkish capital Ankara, a Reuters witness said, as witnesses heard an explosion in the capital after the military announced that it had launched a coup to take over the government. The military earlier said in a statement it was taking control of the government in order to return it to democracy. President Tayyip Erdogan and government officials have said the coup lacks broad support within the military. Erdogan has called on his supporters to take to the streets in defiance.
3.40 am: Turkish Parliament building surrounded by tanks. Tanks open fire around Turkish Parliament Building: Reuters witness
head of the military in >#Turkey denies he's behind coup and says: "I don't know who's behind this illegal coup"— ناصر (@shapban) >July 15, 2016
3.39 am: UN Chief Ban ki-Moon appeals for calm in Turkey, UN seeking to clarify situation, says spokesman
3.38 am: State-run news agency reports military helicopters have attacked headquarters of TURKSAT satellite station.
3.36 am: Turkish Justice Minister says members of movement loyal to US-based Cleric Gulen in the army attempted coup.
3.34 am: Turkey's army launched a coup attempt on Friday in a country that has seen three full military coups since 1960. Here are some key facts on the strategically important Muslim-majority nation which is battling threats on two main fronts, against Islamic State group jihadists and Kurdish militants. > Read more
3.30 am: Turkish president’s office isn’t disclosing Erdogan’s whereabouts, saying he is at a secure location.
3.29 am: Iran's Zarif says in his twitter account "stability, democracy and safety of Turkish people are paramount."
3.28 am: Turkey's EU Minister calls on soldiers to disobey orders, says NTV
3.23 am: EU calls for 'restraint and respect for democratic institutions' in Turkey
3.22 am: Turkish President Erdogan said ‘I have never recognized any power above the will of the people’. He also said actions by military ‘an attempt at an uprising by a minority within our armed forces’.
3.21 am: Any US-bound flights from Istanbul that were in the air before the airport closed will be allowed to land in the US, says US Federal Aviation Administration
3.20 am: Strong explosion heard in Turkish capital Ankara, says AFP
3.19 am: Senior Turkish official says there appears to be no broad support within military for attempted takeover
3.17 am: The USA believes coup attempt is underway in Turkey, at this point unclear who is unwinning, says US government sources.
3.15 am: Turkey's military said on Friday it had seized power, but the prime minister said the attempted coup would be put down. > Read more
3.14 am: Erdogan vows 'coup' plotters will not succeed
3.12 am: British, Lufthansa flights to Turkey are diverting or returning to origin due to attempted coup, spokeswomen
3.10 am: Turkish State Broadcaster TRI goes off air.
3.07 a.m. :Russia warns citizens to stay indoors in Turkey.
3.02 a.m.: Turkey's Erdogan said that nation must gather in squares to give response to attempted uprising.
3.01 a.m.: Turkish PM says siege underway at some important buildings
3.00 am: U.S. President Barack Obama briefed on situation in Turkey, says White House
2.57 am: Turkish PM says seige underway at some important buildings.
2.50 a.m.: Turkey’s armed forces “fully seized control” of the country Friday, according to a statement from the military published by a Turkish news agency, as gunfire was heard outside military headquarters, fighter jets buzzed over the capital and vehicles blocked two major bridges in Istanbul. The prime minister, however, said there was an “attempt” at a coup. > Read more
2.44 a.m.: Announcer on Turkey's TRT says democratic and secular rule of law has been eroded by current government
2.43 a.m.: Turkish military declares martial law and curfew: TRT state TV
2.42 a.m.: Moscow calls on Turkey to avoid all 'bloodshed'
2.41 a.m.: Russia's Lavrov says Russian nationals in Turkey should remain indoors, await further information
2.40 a.m.: Turkish State broadcaster TRT says curfew declared across country
2.35 a.m. : EU source says military coup attempt underway in Turkey looks substantial, 'Not just few colonels'.
2.32 a.m.: Access to Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc, and YouTube restricted in Turkey, says Internet Monitoring group.
2.30 a.m. : Soldiers inside buildings of Turkish State Broadcaster TRT in Ankara, says TRT Correspondent to Reuters.
2.27 a.m.: Turkish presidential source says statement made on behalf of armed forces was not authorised by military command.
2.24 a.m.: A source in Istanbul told The Hindu that it was unclear which faction of the Army was responsible for the coup.
2.18 a.m.: Turkey's armed forces said on Friday they had taken power in the country to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights. In a statement sent by email and reported on Turkish TV channels, the military said all of Turkey's existing foreign relations would be maintained and that the rule of law would remain the priority. Turkey's prime minister said earlier a faction within the army had attempted to seize power but that they would be pushed back and that it was wrong to call it a coup.
2.17 a.m.: Turkey's top general 'held hostage' at military HQ: state agency
2.14 a.m.: Some hostages taken at Turkish Military headquarters in Ankara, says a TV report.
2.11 a.m.: Turkish President Erdogan is safe, says CNN Turk.
2.10 a.m. : Gunfire heard near Istanbul police headquarters, says a reporter on Turkish broadcaster NTV
2.05 a.m.: All flight sfrom Istanbul's Ataturk airport cancelled after events in Turkey, a Reuters witness citing pilot at airport.
2.00 a.m.: Turkish military tanks deployed outside Ataturk airport in Istanbul, says TV
1.55 a.m.: Turkish military says all existing foreign relations will continue.
1.52 a.m.: Turkey army says has taken power over country, says TV
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube blocked in Turkey during reported coup attempt: The Turkish military have depl... >https://t.co/VVjl2j7ajX— Donnie Small (@donniesmallLLC) >July 15, 2016
1.50 a.m.: Turkish Military says has taken over for democratic order, human rights to remain.
1.45 a.m.: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Friday denounced what he said was an "illegal attempt" by elements in the military after bridges were partially shut down in Istanbul and jets flew low over Ankara."We are working on the possibility of an attempt. We will not allow this attempt," he told NTV television by telephone, without expanding on the nature of the move but saying it was by a group in the Turkish military. "Those who are in this illegal act will pay the highest price," he added, saying it would not be correct to describe the move as a "coup".
1.44 a.m.: Turkish security forces on Friday partially shut down the two bridges across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul as military jets were heard flying low over Ankara, reports and AFP correspondents said. The Bosphorus and Fatih bridges were closed by the gendarmerie -- a branch of the Turkish military dedicated to internal security -- for traffic travelling from Asia to Europe, NTV television said. Traffic was still moving in the other direction. Meanwhile, Turkish military aircraft were heard flying low over Ankara, AFP correspondents in the capital reported. There was no immediate explanation for the cause of the incidents.
1.43 a.m.: Turkish military jets heard flying low over Ankara
(With inputs from AFP, Reuters, AP)