Turkey President Erdogan appears in Istanbul after coup Foiled

Erdogan surrounded by supporters at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul [Huseyin Aldemir/Reuters]

HornDiplomat-Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared early on Saturday among a crowd of supporters at Istanbul’s main airport, footage broadcast on local media showed, hours after an attempt by an army faction to topple the government.

Erdogan’s arrival in Istanbul came after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told broadcaster NTV on Saturday that the situation in Turkey was “largely under control”.

In comments broadcast by Turkish media, Erdogan said those involved in the coup would receive the necessary response, no mater what institution they were from.

Earlier, thousands of people had heeded a call from the president to take to the streets and protest against the attempted coup.

‘Foiled coup’

Late on Friday, sections of the army had officially declared a coup and martial law, saying they had “taken control of the country” as Istanbul’s main airport was closed and fighter jets were seen in the skies.

Turkey’s intelligence agency MIT was targeted by hijacked helicopters but the coup attempt was “foiled”, its spokesman told NTV television.

Yildirim also told NTV that a no-fly zone had been declared over the capital, Ankara.

The broadcaster also reported that nearly 50 soldiers had been arrested.

However, even as the announcement by Yildirim came, at least two loud explosions were heard in central Istanbul, apparently emanating from neighbourhoods close to Taksim Square.

There were also reports of an explosion at the parliament building in the capital, Ankara.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies


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