The attempted coup by Turkish military yesterday ended today following a night of intense confusion and bloodshed. SaharaReporters reported yesterday that fighter jets were flying over the capital of Turkey and tanks were in the streets.
The military chose to attempt to seize control of the country while Turkish President Recep Erdogan was away on vacation. The first official statement from the government indicating that a coup may be underway was from Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim who said that “the military was acting out of the chain of command,” according to Reuters.
According to CNN, at least 161 people were killed during clashes last night and more than 1,140 people were wounded.
Most of the deaths were police officers killed during a firefight with a helicopter near Turkey’s Parliament Complex in the capital city Ankara, according to NTV.
The President’s office told CNN that 2,839 military officers were detained and that nearly 200 Turkish court officials were taken into custody.
The Wall Street Journal reported that eight Turkish military officers of junior ranks landed a helicopter in Greece requesting asylum. The government spokeswoman for Greece, Olga Gerovasili, said that they will examine asylum requests within the context of international law but “it will be taken into account seriously that, in their country, they are accused of violating the constitutional order and attempting to overthrow the democratic regime.”
The Turkish Foreign Minister demanded that those soldiers be immediately extradited from Greece.
The Greek government said that they would return the helicopter to Turkey immediately and requested that the Turkish authorities send a delegation to retrieve it.
Mr. Erdogan addressed the public saying that the control of the government was now firmly in his hands. He told the large crowd that, “no soldiers are governing this state” and “that those tanks in the streets have been taken by my people.”