An attempt by members of the military to take over the Turkish government has failed, with 161 people killed, more than 1,440 injured and 2,839 military personnel arrested, among them at least 29 colonels and five generals, The Guardian reports.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was in the Mediterranean resort town of Marmaris when the uprising began Friday evening, quickly called on Turks to respond to the coup by rallying in public. “I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports,” he said, reaching Turkish television studios via a smartphone. “There is no power higher than the power of the people.” Some 49.5 percent of Turks voted for Erdogan’s party in 2015 elections.

By early Saturday morning, the would-be ousters’ grip on key civil institutions, such as major transportion hubs and media organizations, appeared to be slighter than initially reported. Later Saturday morning, video emerged of soldiers leaving their positions or being taken away under arrest. One large contingent abandoned its blockade of Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge, hands raised in surrender.

The head of the armed forces, Gen. Hulusi Akar, reportedly did not take part in the revolt and was taken hostage by the ousters. Rear Adm. Nejat Atilla Demirhan and Gen. Memduh Hakbilen, chief of staff of Turkey’s command for the Aegean region, were reported to be among those detained by the Turkish government on suspicion of leading the coup attempt.

At midday Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the night’s events a “black stain” on Turkish democracy and praised civilians and police for thwarting the coup. The post-coup crackdown spread beyond the armed forces: Turkish media reported that 2,745 judges, including five members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors—Turkey’s highest judiciary board—had been removed from the bench.

Erdogan promised to punish those responsible for the coup attempt.

Read ongoing coverage by The Guardian here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.