Turkey to hold emergency parliament session after failed coup

The Turkish parliament was to hold an emergency session Saturday after a coup by a military faction was foiled overnight, leaving at least 90 dead.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the session for 2 pm (1100 GMT), news reports said. The parliament building sustained extensive damage apparently from airstrikes by the coup fighters, with footage showing collapsed walls and smashed windows.

The rebels took control of helicopters and F16 fighter jets, government sources were quoted as saying by local news reports.

The attempted coup was carried out by "a group within the military" acting "outside of the chain of command," said the office of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who vowed to purge the armed forces.

As of Saturday morning, 1,563 members of the armed forces had been arrested, a government official said. Five generals and 29 colonels were dismissed, NTV reported. A general who was part of the coup plot was reportedly killed during the night, Yildirim said.

Sporadic gunfire was reported from parts of Istanbul and Ankara on Saturday morning, where some putschists were reportedly holed up in the army headquarters.

It was not clear who was behind the coup attempt, which was condemned by several military commanders and all four major political parties, including three in opposition.

Erdogan earlier blamed US-based religious leader Fethullah Gulen. But Gulen condemned the putsch, saying "governments should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force."

Last update: Sat, 16/07/2016 - 15:07
Author: 

More from World

Gambia declares state of emergency

Gambia declared a 90-day state of emergency on Tuesday, two days before President Yahya Jammeh was to step down...

Rowhani says Trump's criticism of Iran nuclear deal is 'just talk'

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday dismissed remarks by the US president-elect criticizing the nuclear deal...

Mediterranean death toll exceeds 200 since January 1, IOM says

At least 219 people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in the first weeks of 2017, the...

Putin accuses Obama administration of trying to delegitimize Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the outgoing US presidential administration of Barack Obama has...

Erdogan says lenders must improve access to credit or face government

Lenders in Turkey must increase access to credit for businesses or they will have to face the government, Turkish...