By Tara John
An attempted military coup in Turkey appeared to have failedSaturday as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned to the city of Istanbul, and his acting military commander and Prime Minister said the uprising had been successfully quashed.
Erdogan called the attempted coup an “act of treason” in the early hours of Saturday morning, saying perpetrators will pay a “heavy price.” As he addressed supporters outside Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, the President said: “They have pointed the people’s guns against the people. The president, whom 52 percent of the people brought to power, is in charge. This government brought to power by the people is in charge. They won’t succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything.”
During a live televised address Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the events over the past 24 hours a “black stain for Turkish democracy,” but assured viewers of the live televised address that the situation is “fully under control.”
Yildirim also indirectly laid the blame for the coup with Fethullah Gulen, the exiled cleric and opponent of Erdogan who has strenuously denied having played any part in the attempted putsch. The Prime Minister said any country that stands by Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, will be considered at war with Turkey, Reuters reports. According to Yildirim, some 1,400 were wounded in the coup attempt and more than 2,800 members of the armed forces have been detained. Around 200 are estimated to have been killed.
Umit Dundar— who was made acting Chief of Staff after coup-makers reportedly took his predecessor hostage— said the air force command, the gendarmerie command and armored forces units were behind the coup, Hurriyet reports. Mehmet Muezzinoglu, deputy head of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), called for the death penalty to be brought back for those responsible.