ISTANBUL – Forty-two people were killed in the Turkish capital Ankara during an attempted coup that started on Friday night, a senior Turkish official said, confirming an earlier report from state-run Anadolu Agency.
Seventeen of those killed were police officers, Anadolu said.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said more than 120 people have been arrested over the attempted coup, adding that he does not know whereabouts of the Turkey army chief.
Erdogan also said in comments broadcast live on private station NTV that the attempted coup was the work of followers of U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a cleric
Erdogan has long accused of attempting to use his followers in the judiciary and military to overthrow the government.Turkey’s once-powerful military has long considered itself the guardian of the secular state founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923.
It has staged three coups since 1960 and forced out an Islamic government in 1997.
Erdogan’s critics have long accused him of undermining modern Turkey’s secular roots but the president was believed to have won control of the military after purging elements who opposed him. – Reuters/The Star Online