17 Jul 2016

'More than 6000' detained over Turkish coup attempt

10:08 pm on 17 July 2016

The failed coup attempt in Turkey which led to more than 250 deaths has also resulted in 6000 people being detained, with the country's justice minister saying the judicial process would continue, state broadcaster NTV has reported.

Pro-Erdogan protesters wave Turkish flags and shout slogans as they demonstrate in Istanbul in support the government on July 16, 2016, following a failed coup attempt.

Pro-Erdogan protesters wave flags and shout slogans as they demonstrate in Istanbul following the failed coup attempt. Photo: AFP

Turkish forces loyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan largely crushed the attempted military coup on Saturday after crowds answered his call to take to the streets in support of the government and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.

Official figures put the number of civilians and police killed at 161, while 104 soldiers involved in the coup also died. The number of injured was 1440.

Earlier reports said nearly 3000 soldiers had been detained and some 2700 judges sacked as the government re-asserted its power.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek told investors not to worry after the attempted coup, saying on Twitter on Sunday the government was in charge and had decided on "all necessary measures" after consulting with the central bank and treasury.

He did not specify the measures. He also said on his official Twitter account that political stability in Turkey had been strengthened after the failed coup and that macro fundamentals were solid. He said he would hold a teleconference with global investors later on Sunday.

"We have decided on all necessary measures. We are in charge. No need for worry," he wrote.

The UN Security Council did not condemn the crisis in Turkey, but world leaders expressed support for the Turkish government in the wake of a failed coup attempt that ended with more than 250 dead.

The US said claims it was involved in the attempt were "utterly false and harmful".

The US-drafted statement to the UN Security Council, which has been seen by Reuters, expressed grave concern over the situation in Turkey, urged the parties to show restraint, avoid any violence or bloodshed, and called for an urgent end to the crisis and return to rule of law.

Statements by the 15-member Security Council have to be agreed by consensus.

"We proposed different language that respects democratic and constitutional principles but the Americans refused to engage," Egypt's UN Ambassador Amr Aboulatta told Reuters.

Diplomats said Egypt asked for a call for all parties to "respect the democratically elected government of Turkey" to be removed from the draft statement, saying the council was "in no position to qualify, or label that government - or any other government for that matter - as democratically elected or not".

Pro-Erdogan supporters gather in front of his residence at Kisikli Neighborhood in Istanbul.

Pro-Erdogan supporters gather in front of the president's residence in Kisikli Neighborhood in Istanbul. Photo: AFP / ANADOLU AGENCY

After the US and Britain objected to the proposed change to the text, Egypt proposed that the council call on the parties in Turkey to "respect the democratic and constitutional principles and the rule of law", diplomats said.

Negotiations on the text ended at this point, diplomats said.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that it was "surprised that its proposed amendment was not taken up, and with the claim that it is obstructing the release of the statement".

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a former general who overthrew elected president Mohamed Morsi, of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, in 2013 after mass protests against Mr Morsi.

Turkey provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Claims US involved in coup attempt 'utterly false'

Mr Erdogan has blamed US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen for the plot, and called for his extradition. But Mr Gulen rejects any suggestion of links to what happened.

US President Barack Obama urged parties on all sides of the crisis to avoid destabilising behaviour and follow the rule of law.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters in Istanbul after the failed coup attempt.

The Turkish president addresses supporters in Istanbul after the failed coup attempt. Photo: AFP / ANADOLU AGENCY

He reiterated his support for the country's "democratically-elected civilian" government, and noted his country needed continued cooperation from Turkey in the fight against terrorism.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also expressed support for the Turkish government, admitting his country did not see the attack coming.

But he told Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that public claims suggesting the US was involved in the failed coup were harmful to relations between the NATO allies.

Mr Kerry pressed Turkey to use restraint during its investigation into the plot, the US State Department said in a statement.

"He made clear that the US would be willing to provide assistance to Turkish authorities conducting this investigation, but that public insinuations or claims about any role by the US in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations."

NATO expressed strong support for the Turkish government. Turkey plays a key role in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also joined the chorus of relief at the end of the coup attempt.

"Germany stands by all of those in Turkey who defend democracy on the constitutional state," she said.

"It is, and remains, the right of the people to determine in free elections who will be their leader."

German-Turkish relations had come under increasing strain in recent months, with Berlin criticising Ankara's tough line against dissenting journalists and the country's Kurdish minority.

- ABC / Reuters / RNZ

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