Turkish government forces regain control after deadly coup bid

Ankara, July 16

Turkish authorities said they had regained control of the country today after thwarting a coup attempt by discontented soldiers to seize power from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that claimed more than 250 lives.

With at least 2,839 soldiers already detained in a relentless round-up over the coup plot, the authorities blamed the conspiracy on Erdogan’s arch enemy, the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

“The situation is completely under control,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said outside his Ankara office. Describing the attempted coup as a “black stain” on Turkey’s democracy, Yildirim said 161 people had been killed in the night of violence and 1,440 wounded. This toll did not appear to include 104 rebel soldiers killed overnight, bringing the overall death toll from the bloodshed to 265.

Yesterday’s putsch bid began with rebel F-16 jets screaming low over rooftops in Ankara, soldiers and tanks taking to the streets and multiple explosions throughout the night in the capital as well as the biggest city Istanbul. Rebel troops also moved to block the two bridges across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, culminating in a stand-off with an angry crowd.

Turkish army F-16s launched air strikes against tanks stationed by coup backers outside the presidential palace in Ankara.

Erdogan, who flew back from the holiday resort of Marmaris, denounced the coup attempt as “treachery”. “They will pay a heavy price for this act of treason,” Erdogan said. “We will not leave our country to occupiers.” Erdogan immediately pinned the blame on “the parallel state” and “Pennsylvania” — a reference to Gulen, his arch-enemy whom he has always accused of seeking to overthrow him.

Nepalis in Turkey safe

KATHMANDU:  Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said Nepalis living in Turkey  were safe and cautioned them not to move out in the volatile situation.

“Closely following developments in Turkey. Spoke with Hon Consul in  Istanbul. No news of Nepalese been impacted. Advised to stay inside,”  MoFA said through its official twitter.

A few hundred Nepalis are  working or studying in different parts Turkey.