Surrendered Turkish soldiers who were involved in the coup attempt are beaten by a civilian on Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul Image Credit: Reuters

Obama warns Turkey to 'act within the rule of law'

US President Barack Obama called on Turkey to respect the rule of law Saturday, a warning to the country's government as it rounded up alleged coup plotters.

He stressed the "vital need" for all parties to "act within the rule of law," after consulting key national security aides about the fallout from a botched putsch.

Obama also urged Turkish leaders to "avoid actions that would lead to further violence or instability," the White House said.

Although the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repelled the coup, the situation remains fraught and tensions between Washington and Ankara are growing.

Several army commanders, a top judge and more than a thousand military personnel have swiftly been detained after the failed power grab that killed more than 200.
There was no indication that Americans have been killed, Obama said.

Obama instructed aides to work with Turkish authorities to "maintain the safety and well-being of diplomatic missions and personnel, US servicemembers, and their dependents."

Turkey detains general Erdal Ozturk, Third Army commander

A top army general has been detained over alleged involvement in a coup attempt aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, an official said.

"General Erdal Ozturk, commander of the Third Army, has been detained," said the Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Turkey detains judge from its top court in wake of failed coup: TV

Turkey on Saturday detained a member of the country's top court after a bloody coup attempt aiming to oust the government, local media reported.

Alparslan Altan, one of 17 judges on the constitutional court, was taken into custody, the private NTV television reported, without specifying what he was accused of.
Earlier, the judicial authorities said that some 2,745 judges across the country would be dismissed in the wake of the coup.

This also came in addition to the arrests of several senior military figures including 2nd army generals Adem Huduti and Avni Angun, Turkish media said. 

US suspends strikes against Daesh from Turkey

US suspends strikes against Daesh from Turkey's Incirlik air base, said an official after Turkish authorities denied movements onto and off Incirlik air base near Adana following an attempted military coup overnight.

The US military uses Incirlik to conduct air strikes against daesh militants in neighbouring Syria.

Meanwhile the US military command in Europe has ordered American forces across Turkey to take maximum protective measures following the attempted military coup there, a US military source said.

The US military has around 2,200 service members and civilian employees in Turkey, which is a Nato member and a crucial regional partner for Washington.

About 1,500 of them are stationed at Incirlik, the military base in southern Turkey from which American warplanes have launched bombing missions against the Islamic State group.

US forces in Turkey were now at the "Delta" force protection level, such as is invoked when a terrorist attack is taking place or appears imminent, the American defense official said.

"We are firmly committed to making every possible effort to ensure the safety and security of our service members, civilians, their families and our facilities," the official said.

At the Delta level, all non-essential activities are suspended and all resources placed in defensive positions in case of attack. 

Authorities impose lockdown at Incirlik air base: US consulate

Turkish authorities on Saturday 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, the US consulate said.

"Local authorities are denying movements on to and off of Incirlik Air Base. The power there has also been cut," the US consulate in Adana said in a message after an coup attempt aimed at toppling the government was thwarted by the authorities.

Turkish Airlines: Flights return to normal schedule, delays expected

Turkish Airlines resumed flights from Istanbul's international airport on Saturday following a failed coup attempt while some foreign carriers cancelled weekend flights.

A spokesman for Turkish Airlines said flights had now returned to their normal schedule from Europe's third largest hub, though delays were to be expected.
Turkish budget carrier Pegasus said its flights were also experiencing minor delays.

The closure of Istanbul's Ataturk Airport late on Friday had caused the diversion of 35 airplanes and cancelled 32 flights, Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci told broadcaster CNN Turk.

British Airways

British Airways said in a statement it was halting all flights to Turkey on Saturday and one on Sunday as a precaution.

"The safety and security of our customers and crew are always our top priority and we would never operate a flight unless it was safe to do so." Over 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


EasyJet said its advice from British authorities was to continue flying, although it was monitoring developments.


German airline Lufthansa cancelled all its flights to Istanbul and Ankara on Saturday and pared back the number flights to holiday destinations Bodrum and Antalya.

TUI which owns the Thomson and First Choice holiday companies, said its flights to Dalaman, Antalya and Izmir were operating as normal.

Tour operator Thomas Cook said most German guests who had booked a holiday to Antalya or Bodrum had taken their flights on Saturday. It said flights from the UK were operating as normal but, given the circumstances, free cancellations or amendments were possible for customers due to fly to Turkey this weekend.

Russia also suspended passenger flights to the country on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, TASS news agency said.

Turkish and Russian officials had met this week to discuss the restarting of charter flights between the two countries and tourism security after relations soured following Turkey's downing of a Russian jet last year.

State airline EgyptAir also cancelled all flights on Saturday to Istanbul, the company said in a statement. The company, which has 14 flights to Istanbul per week, did not say when they were expected to resume.

All flights from Istanbul to Sofia for Saturday had been cancelled, according to Sofia airport's website.  


Turkish operation at general staff HQ against coup plotters completed  

Turkish security forces have completed an operation against coup plotters at the headquarters of the military general staff, broadcaster CNN Turk reported on Saturday.

Overnight a faction within the military attempted to overthrow the government using tanks and helicopters and by blocking bridges in Istanbul. They were defeated after President Tayyip Erdogan called on supporters to take to the streets in support of democracy.

Erdogan vows 'heavy price' for coup plotters

Forces loyal to Turkey's president quashed a coup attempt in a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire that left dozens dead on Saturday. Authorities arrested thousands of people as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed those responsible "will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey."

8 coup plotters request asylum in Greece

A Turkish military helicopter landed in Greece on Saturday carrying eight officers seeking asylum after a coup bid, Greek police said.

The Black Hawk chopper arrived 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 attempted putsch, ERT TV said.

Athens News Agency said the asylum seekers comprised three majors, three captains and two sergeant majors. Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara had asked Athens to send back the eight.

"We have requested Greece to extradite the eight traitors as soon possible," Cavusoglu was quoted as telling HaberTurk television.

Turkey shuts Bosphorus to tankers

Maritime authorities shut Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait to transiting tankers on Saturday "for security and safety" reasons, shipping agent GAC said, after what the government said was an attempted coup by a faction in the military.

The Bosphorus is one of world's most important chokepoints for the maritime transit of oil with over three percent of global supply - mainly from Russia and the Caspian Sea - passing through the 17-mile waterway that connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. It also ships vast amounts of grains from Russia and Kazakhstan to world markets.

Coup supporters request surrender talks

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.

According to a Turkish official at the presidency, that is the last base the coup supporters hold.

More than 1,500 soldiers arrested

Turkey's acting chief of the general staff says 1,563 soldiers have been arrested in the attempted military coup overnight.

The newly appointed General Umit Dundar says those who took part in the betrayal will not go unpunished.

He says those who "sided with democracy and the rule of law" thwarted the attempt.

Dundar said Turkey's military is determined to purge members of the movement of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who is living in exile in Pennsylvania, from the ranks.

"Our people should have no concern, that the era of coups and juntas have come to a close, never to be opened again," Dundar says.

Death toll rises to more than 190

General Umit Dundar, the newly appointed acting chief of the general staff, said more than 190 people died in clashes: 41 police officers, two soldiers, 47 civilians and 104 people described as "coup plotters."

Dundar said officers from the Air Force, the military police and the armored units were mainly involved in the attempt.

More than 1,400 wounded, thousands detained

Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim said more more than 1,400 people were wounded in the chaos. More than 2,800 people have been detained. He described the night as a "dark stain for Turkish democracy" and pinned blame for the coup on the "parallel terrorist organisation."

Turkey chief of staff Akar rescued

Turkish security forces on Saturday rescued the country's top army general in an operation in Ankara after a coup attempt, taking him to a safe location, the private CNN-Turk television reported.

General Hulusi Akar was rescued after an operation was launched in Akinci air base, northwest of the capital, it said. Earlier reports said he had been taken hostage in the earlier stages of the coup bid late Friday.

Turkey's president declares coup attempt over

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the nation Saturday that his government is in charge after a coup attempt brought a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire across the capital that left at least 60 dead and at least 150 people wounded.

Government officials said the coup appeared to have failed as Turks took to the streets overnight to confront troops attempting to take over the country. However, the sounds of huge blasts, including at least one bomb that hit the parliament complex, continued to echo across the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul throughout the morning.

Addressing a crowd of supporters outside Istanbul Ataturk Airport on Saturday morning, Erdogan told a crowd assembled there: "They have pointed the people's guns against the people."

An official in the president's office says at least 60 people have been killed in the attempted coup. The official also says 336 people, most of them soldiers, have been arrested across Turkey. Most of the dead are civilians.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency, says security forces have "achieved results in many places" and defeated coup plotters. That includes the National Intelligence Agency, police and government buildings. 

New acting army chief appointed

Turkey on Saturday appointed a new acting army chief of staff after an attempted coup to topple the government, the prime minister said.

General Umit Dundar, commander of the First Army, has been appointed as acting chairman of chief of staff, Binali Yildirim said. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said he did not know whereabouts of former army chief Hulusi Akar.

Bomb attacks continue 

Bomb attacks on Turkey's parliament are continuing, a senior Turkish official said on Saturday, adding that rebel soldiers have been warned they will be shot down if they attempt to use more military aircraft.

The official also said there were more fatalities in Istanbul, in addition to the 42 killed in Ankara, in an attempted coup by a section of the military.

Erdogan seeks control

A Turkish army faction backed by tanks and fighter jets staged an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday but the strongman returned to Istanbul defiantly claiming to have regained control.

Soldiers and tanks took to the streets late on Friday and multiple explosions rang out throughout the night in Ankara and Istanbul, the two biggest cities of the strategic Nato country of 80 million people.

After hours of chaos unseen in decades, the president ended uncertainty over his whereabouts, flying into Istanbul airport in the early hours of the morning where he made a defiant speech and was greeted by hundreds of supporters.

Erdogan denounced the coup attempt as "treachery" but said he was carrying out his functions and would keep on working "to the end".

"What is being perpetrated is a treason and a rebellion. They will pay a heavy price for this act of treason," Erdogan said at Istanbul's airport. "We will not leave our country to occupiers."

With Turkish officials insisting the coup was faltering and Erdogan ordering the army to shoot down planes being used by the plotters, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said 120 of those involved had been arrested.

Bombs and fighter jets 

The sound of F16 fighter jets flying over the capital Ankara signalled the start of the putsch late on Friday, with troops also moving to block the bridges across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul.

As protesters took to the streets, witnesses saw troops open fire on people gathered near one of the bridges, leading to numerous casualties.

State-run news agency Anadolu reported that the parliament in Ankara had been bombed and regular explosions could be heard.

AFP correspondents reported a strong explosion in Ankara just before 1:00 am (2200 GMT), though it was not immediately clear what caused the blast.

Turkey's top general Hulusi Akar was taken hostage at the military headquarters in the capital Ankara after the attempt to bring down the government, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

State broadcaster TRT said the military had declared martial law and a curfew, in a statement signed by a group calling itself the "Council for Peace in the Homeland".

"The power in the country has been seized in its entirety," said a military statement quoted by Turkish media.

It said the coup had been launched "to ensure and restore constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms and let the supremacy of the law in the country prevail, to restore order which was disrupted".

"All our international agreements and commitments retain their validity," the statement added.

"We hope our good relations will continue with all countries in the world."

Erdogan, speaking from what a presidential source said was a secure location, urged people to take to the streets to resist the coup.

"I certainly believe that coup plotters will not succeed," he said, speaking on a mobile phone via FaceTime in his first reaction to the move by the Turkish armed forces.

"I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports. I never believed in a power higher than the power of the people."

Erdogan said he was still president and Turkey's commander in chief, promising that plotters would pay a "very heavy price".

It was earlier reported that the president was on vacation in the Mediterranean resort of Marmaris.

Television pictures showed tanks deployed outside Ataturk airport in Istanbul. Reports said that flights into the airport had been halted.

US President Barack Obama has been briefed, with US National Security Council spokesman Ned Price saying: "The president's national security team has apprised him of the unfolding situation in Turkey."

The EU called for "restraint and respect for democratic institutions" in Turkey.

Neighbouring Greece said it was following the situation closely.

Live coverage of the event as it unveiled

Tanks deployed outside Turkish parliament

Tanks opened fire around the parliament building in the Turkish capital Ankara, a Reuters witness said, after the military said on Friday it had seized control of the government in a coup.

Gunfire was also heard at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, according to another Reuters witness.The Turkish military late Friday deployed tanks outside the parliament in the capital Ankara, the private Dogan news agency reported.

Strong blasts were heard in Ankara and jets were continuously flying over the city. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said coup plotters would "not succeed."

Turkey's EU minister urges soldiers to disobey coup leaders - NTV 

Turkey's EU minister Omer Celik urged soldiers not to obey the orders of a faction in the military attempting to carry out a coup, according to broadcaster NTV.

"We will not hand over this democracy without giving our last breath," he said.

Qatar Airways' Friday flight QR237 to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport cancelled - Qatar Airways website

Etihad delayed flight EY4151 Abu Dhabi to Istanbul scheduled to depart 1:25am. Flight has not departed

Turkish justice minister says members of movement loyal to US-based cleric Gulen in the army attempted coup.

Strong explosion heard in Turkish capital Ankara

A strong explosion was heard in the Turkish capital on Friday after the army said it had seized power and declared martial law and a curfew, AFP journalists reported.

It was not immediately known what caused the explosion but jets that had been present in the skies throughout the late evening were still flying over Ankara.

Turkey army says it seizes power; Erdogan says 'We will overcome this'

Turkey's military said on Friday it had seized power, but President Tayyip Erdogan said the attempted coup would be put down.

If successful, the overthrow of Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003, would be one of the biggest shifts in the Middle East in years.

"We will overcome this," Erdogan said, speaking by mobile phone to the Turkish sister station of CNN. He called on his followers to take to the streets to defend his government and said the coup plotters would pay a heavy price.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the elected government remained in office. However, it appeared that those behind the coup had the upper hand initially.

UK foreign ministry says until situation in Turkey clearer, advising UK citizens to avoid public places, remain vigilant

Turkey army in coup attempt

Turkish troops launched a coup Friday, with soldiers taking to the streets of Ankara and Istanbul as the prime minister vowed the putschists would "pay the highest price".

Jets screeched low overhead in the capital, while citizens rushed for the safety of their homes.

Obama briefed on situation in Turkey: White House

US President Barack Obama has been briefed by aides on events in Turkey, the White House said Friday, as a shock military coup attempt was underway.

"The president's national security team has apprised him of the unfolding situation in Turkey," said National Security Council spokesman Ned Price.

"The president will continue to receive regular updates."

'Erdogan safe'

Turkey's military said on Friday it had seized power, but the prime minister said the attempted coup would be put down.

If successful, the overthrow of President Tayyip Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003, would amount to one of the biggest shifts in power in the Middle East in years.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the elected government remained in office. There was no immediate word from Erdogan.

The Turkish sister channel of CNN said he was "safe".

The armed forces had taken power in the country to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights, the military said in a statement sent by email and reported on Turkish TV channels. All of Turkey's existing foreign relations would be maintained and the rule of law would remain the priority, it said.

Turkish military declares martial law and curfew: TRT state TV

Turkish military says has taken power to protect democratic order 

Turkey's armed forces said 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.

Turkey's top general has been taken hostage

Turkey's top general has been taken hostage at the military headquarters in the capital Ankara after an attempt to bring down the government, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported


All flights from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport have been cancelled, a Reuters witness said on Friday, citing a pilot, after the military said it had taken control of the government.

Turkey's armed forces said on Friday they had taken power in the country to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights.

Coup attempt

A group within Turkey's military has attempted to overthrow the government and security forces have been called in to "do what is necessary", Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Friday.

"Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command," Yildirim said in comments broadcast by private channel NTV.

"The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so."

Gunfire heard in Turkish capital Ankara

Gunshots were heard in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Friday, a Reuters witness said, as military jets and helicopters were seen flying overhead.

Reuters witnesses in Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city, also spotted helicopters overhead.

Broadcaster NTV reported that both of Istanbul’s bridges across the Bosphorus, the strait separating the European and Asian sides of the city, had been closed to traffic.

It was not immediately clear if the events were related.