Uncertainties remain in Turkey after foiled coup attempt


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ISTANBUL, July 18 (Xinhua) — Uncertainties remain in Turkey in the wake of the failed military coup on Friday, though the Turkish parliament said Sunday that the country’s security order has “returned to normal”.

In a statement sent to Xinhua, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) praised “the united stance and language of all political party groups at the Parliament in countering this attempt,” vowing to “make those who have attacked the nation and its sovereignty to pay a heavy price.”

“As of 16th July 2016, life has returned to normal,” the statement said, adding “nothing in Turkey will be as it has been in the past.”

IN TURKEY: DEATH, DETAINMENT AND CLASHES

In the statement, the GNAT said the Turkish people “have foiled the coup attempt by taking to the streets and standing against the tanks of gang of coup plotters,” adding the plotters’ attempts to take control of national and private media have also “been quickly disrupted.”

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday that the coup has left at least 290 people killed and around 1,400 wounded.

The death toll includes at least 161 civilians and 100 coup plotters, and over 6,000 have been detained due to their involvement in the failed coup attempt which the government said was staged by Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The GNAT said some 3,000 plotters have been arrested and over 100 of them were “neutralized.”

Meanwhile, clashes reportedly erupted on Sunday between Turkish police and the gendarmerie at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

According to the Milliyet daily newspaper, the confrontation occurred when the police tried to detain the commander of the gendarmerie over the coup.

The gendarmerie section, in charge of security for the international terminal of the airport, has 50 to 60 members, the report said.

In the aftermath of the clashes, the police detained all the gendarmerie staff, including the commander.

Among the detained people were top army commanders, judges and prosecutors, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to stamp out the “virus” of the putschists within state bodies, according to the state-run news agency Anadolu.

Erdogan even said Sunday that Turkey would now consider reinstating the death penalty, a clear message that the administration will show no mercy to coup-related suspects.

“We cannot delay this anymore because in this country, those who launch a coup will have to pay the price for it,” he told supporters.

OUT OF TURKEY: DENIAL, ASYLUM AND TRIAL

The coup was launched and conducted by “a clique of soldiers from different ranks within the Turkish Armed Forces,” the GNAT said.

Erdogan has blamed his political enemy Gulen, who lives in the United States, for plotting the coup. However, the latter has denied any involvement in the plot and condemned it “in the strongest terms,” suggesting it could have been staged by Erdogan himself to cement his grip on power.

The failed coup has spilled over the borders, as eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece with a Black Hawk military helicopter early Saturday to seek political asylum, would face trial in Greek court, Anadolu Agency reported Sunday.

These soldiers, who landed at the Alexandroupoli airport near the Greek-Turkish border, would face accusations of “illegal entry” and “damaging the friendly relation between Turkey and Greece,” according to their lawyer Lia Marinaki.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu “requested the immediate surrender of the eight traitor soldiers,” adding “they will expedite the extradition process.”

In Saudi Arabia, the authorities, at the request of Ankara, detained Turkey’s military attache to Kuwait who had been flying through the eastern city of Dammam on Sunday evening, the Saudi-owned TV channel Al Arabiya reported.

The attache, Mikail Gullu, had been en route to Amsterdam, the report said.

WORLD: CONCERNED

After the coup, the world has voiced support to Turkey’s elected authorities.

“I strongly condemn the attempt from groups in the armed forces to overthrow the government of Turkey and express my sincere condolences for the lives lost during the coup attempt,” President of the U.N. General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft said Saturday.

On the same day, U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated the “unwavering support” for the democratically elected civilian government of Turkey. However, he urged Ankara to “act within the rule of law” instead of practicing retaliatory purges after the event.

France also warned Erdogan that the dramatic coup did not mean he had “carte blanche” to silence his opponents. Media reported that the Foreign Ministry even questioned on whether Turkey was a viable partner in the fight against the Islamic State.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Erdogan to express his wish for a “speedy restoration of strong constitutional order.”

On Sunday, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag urged Washington to extradite Gulen to Turkey, although the United States said it will look at evidence Turkey has to offer against Gulen, and judge accordingly.

“Does one need evidence to prove the existence of the Sun? This is just as clear a matter,” he said, adding “the United States would weaken itself by protecting him, it would harm its reputation. I don’t think that at this hour, the United States would protect someone who carried out this act against Turkey.”

 

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