Turkey confirms 3 top commanders held hostage are safe and sound


Ankara: Three top commanders who were held hostage by the coup attempters were saved on July 16, Defence Minister Fikri Isik announced on July 16.

“Our commander of air staff, naval staff and the second chief of general staff were saved from the Akinci Base where they were held and are in good condition,” XInhua news agency quoted Isik as saying to reporters in the capital Ankara, adding that it was early to say that the coup danger was completely over, while urging caution.

Meanwhile, the commander of gendarmerie forces Gen. Galip Mendi was also saved later.

In addition, a total of 72 coup plotters were detained during police operation at the Akinci Base in the capital Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan made a “thank you call” to parliament speaker and leaders of the two opposition parties on July 16.

The president thanked Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu and National Movement Party (NHP) leader Devlet Bahceli for not giving credit to the July 15 coup attempt during a phone conversation.

Protesters rally against coup attempt in major cities

Thousands of protesters gathered on July 16 (Saturday) in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir to protest the coup attempt which killed at least 194 people and led to chaos in major cities in Turkey, Hurriyet News reported.

Protesters waving flags gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Saturday night. The group also staged a march toward the central Istiklal Avenue, Xinhua news agency reported.

Thousands gathered at the central Kizilay Square of capital Ankara on late Saturday to protest the coup attempt, chanting anti-coup slogans.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was due to address the crowd but it was postponed later. The square was also closed to traffic. Protesters said they will stay until officials ask them to return to their homes.

In the Aegean province of Izmir, protesters gathered in the central Konak Square and chanted anti-coup slogans.

Following the coup attempt in the country on July 15, Turkish officials called on the nation to continue to protest the coup attempt.

Defence Minister Fikri Isik said it was early to say that the coup danger was completely over, while urging caution in Turkey. (Agencies)