Home » World News » Turkey appoints new acting army chief of staff after coup bid

Turkey appoints new acting army chief of staff after coup bid

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 16 July 2016, 10:07 IST

Following the attempted coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by elements of the Turkish military backed by tanks, the president today appointed the new acting army chief.

It was unclear who was in control of the strategic NATO country of 80 million people as soldiers took to the streets and multiple explosions rang through the night.

Forty-two people, including civilians, and 17 police personnel have been killed in the coup attempt. Speaking to local TV, Turkey PM Binali Yildirim stated that a General has been killed and 130 soldiers have been detained.

As rebel troops clashed with loyal troops and civilians in Istanbul and Ankara, there was gunfire and explosions, but by this morning, it appeared that Erdogan was succeeding.

President Erdogan said the uprising was carried out by a "minority" within the military opposed to national unity. He claimed some in the military had been taking orders from the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, and the attempted coup showed that Gulen was heading an armed terrorist organisation.

Scores of people waving Turkish flags gathered in major squares in Istanbul and capital Ankara to express their solidarity with the elected government.

Airports have been shut and access to internet and social media sites has also been cut off.

Meanwhile, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: "Our Embassy in Ankara advises Indian nationals in Turkey to avoid public places and remain indoors until the situation there becomes clearer." Swarup also tweeted emergency contact numbers for Indian nationals in Ankara: +905303142203; and in Istanbul: +905305671095.

-With inputs from agencies

First published: 16 July 2016, 10:07 IST