Wednesday 28 September 2016

All 'snakes' neutralised following attempted coup, Turkey's military declares

Published 19/07/2016 | 14:00

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) and former Turkish president Abdullah Gul (R) look on after attending the funeral of a victim of the coup attempt in Istanbul. AFP/Getty Images
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) and former Turkish president Abdullah Gul (R) look on after attending the funeral of a victim of the coup attempt in Istanbul. AFP/Getty Images

Turkey's military command has announced that all elements responsible for Friday night's attempted coup have been neutralised.

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In a written statement, the Office of the General Staff announced that all terrorist elements had been suppressed nationwide as of 4pm on Sunday.

The statement noted that between the political leadership, the heroism of the loyal security forces and the bravery of the public, "the necessary response had been given to the snakes in our midst".

According to official figures from the prime minister's office, Friday night's coup attempt resulted in 232 deaths and 1,541 wounded.

The statement came as the state-run Anadolu news agency reported President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Air Force adviser, Lt Col Erkan Kivrak, has been detained at a hotel in the Serik district of Turkey's southern province of Antalya.

Lt Col Kivrak was detained while on holiday. No details were given as to the reason for the detention, though dozens of senior military personnel have been put under arrest for alleged involvement in the thwarted coup.

Meanwhile, Turkey's central bank has cut a key interest rate to help shore up the economy.

Read more: Emotional Turkish PM condemns killing of 'martyrs' in failed coup

The bank's Monetary Policy Committee said it has reduced its overnight marginal funding rate from 9% to 8.75%. All other interest rates were left unchanged.

President Erdogan made a series of televised appearances overnight in which he disclosed dramatic details of his survival on the night of the failed coup and raised the prospect of reintroducing the death penalty to punish conspirators.

Pro-government supporters protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul (AP)
Pro-government supporters protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul (AP)
Members of the Turkish armed forces are escorted by police for their suspected involvement in Friday's attempted coup at the court house in Mugla. (Tolga Adanali/Depo Photos via AP)

He told US broadcaster CNN he narrowly escaped death after plotters stormed the resort town of Marmaris where he was on holiday.

"Had I stayed 10, 15 additional minutes, I would have been killed or I would have been taken," he said.

Read more: Turkey coup attempt: President Erdogan warned not to use uprising as 'carte blanche to do whatever he wants'

Addressing hundreds of supporters outside his Istanbul residence in the early hours of Tuesday, Mr Erdogan responded to calls for the death penalty with the simple statement: "You cannot put aside the people's demands."

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said such a move would be "a big step in the wrong direction" and violate Turkey's responsibilities under international law.

Courts in Turkey have remanded 85 generals and admirals in custody ahead of trials over their roles in the attempted coup, while dozes more are still being questioned.

Those arrested include former air force commander General Akin Ozturk, alleged to be the ringleader of the July 15 uprising, and General Adem Hududi, commander of Turkey's Second Army, which is in charge of countering possible threats to Turkey from Syria, Iran and Iraq, the state-run Anadolu Agency said .

Gen Ozturk has denied the allegation, saying he neither planned nor directed the coup.

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