Istanbul/Ankara: After an army group said that it took over the country. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has flown in to Istanbul.
He emerged to crowds of supporters at Istanbul’s main Ataturk airport early on Saturday after what officials said had been a coup attempt by a faction within the armed forces.
Addressing the huge crowd, President Erdogan said to the cheering crowd that. “no power is above the national will”. “I am with my people. I’m not going anywhere.”
Huge gunfire and explosions rocked both the main city Istanbul and capital Ankara on Friday night after soldiers took up positions in both cities and ordered state television to read out a statement declaring they had taken power.
At least 42 people had been killed in the violence in Ankara, most of them are civilians. More deaths were also reported in Istanbul.
Early on Saturday, around 30 pro- coup soldiers surrender their weapons after being surrounded by armed police in Istanbul’s central Taksim square.
Erdogan, had 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 destabilize pivotal country.
Erdogan said, while speaking on a video call to a mobile phone that. “We will overcome this.”
Erdogan promised to clean up the army.”Those who drive around in tanks will have to go back to where they came from,” he said.
He called on people to take to the streets to oppose the uprising. He said: “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.”
“We have a prime minister, we have a chief of command, we’re not going to leave this country to degenerates,” shouted one man, as groups of government supporters climbed onto a tank near Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.