Turkey scrambles to deal with failed coup 'morning after'
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged supporters to remain in the streets in case of another flare-up as he continued to reassert control over Turkey following a failed military coup on Friday night.
The Turkish president who denounced the coup attempt as "treachery" vowed to keep on working as the leader of his country "to the end", calling on civilians to maintain a presence on the streets.
"We should keep on owning the streets tonight no matter at what stage (the coup attempt is) because a new flare-up could take place at any moment," Erdogan said in a Twitter message on Saturday.
Erdogan battled to regain control over Turkey after hours of chaos caused by a coup attempt from discontented soldiers and four army generals.
The AKP leader landed in Istanbul in the early hours of the morning where he was greeted by hundreds of supporters before making a defiant live speech.
"What is being perpetrated is a treason and a rebellion. They will pay a heavy price for this act of treason," Erdogan said at the airport. "We will not leave our country to occupiers."
Reports suggest more than 1,563 military officers were arrested across Turkey, the government said on Saturday as the country's parliament - which was bombed during the chaos - held an extraordinary session that was broadcasted live on television.
On the Bosphorus bridge, dozens of soldiers backing the coup surrendered after occupying the bridge throughout the nights, footage showed.
|On the Bosphorus bridge, dozens of soldiers backing the coup surrendered after occupying the bridge throughout the nights
Nearly 200 unarmed soldiers also surrendered at the military headquarters where the chief of staff General Hulusi Akar was taken hostage and later rescued by special forces.
Istanbul authorities sought to make a show of normalisation with the bridges reopening to traffic and Ataturk International Airport - which had been shut down by the plotters - gradually reopening.
Erdogan put the blame the coup on supporters of his arch-foe, US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen denied being behind the coup attempt and condemned it "in the strongest terms".
At least 161 people were killed and thousands wounded as the events played out overnight.