164 martyred during coup attempt

ANKARA (AA) – At least 164 people lost their lives fighting against Friday’s attempted coup in Turkey’s capital Ankara as well as Istanbul, according to preliminary reports as analyzed by Anadolu Agency.

A bomb dropped at Ankara’s Special Forces Center entrance at 23.24 local time (2024GMT) struck service trucks that were transporting police officers. The attack, which was carried out by helicopters and bombs, left 31 police officers and an imam martyred. During the attacks, seven officers working at aerial headquarters were also martyred.

An airstrike at the TURKSAT satellite and communication agency in Ankara’s Golbasi district left three employees martyred.

During the night of the coup attempt, two bombs were dropped from military planes near the Presidential Palace complex in Ankara’s Bestepe neighborhood, where a gendarmerie command center is located, martyring five civilians protesting the would-be coup.

Seven civilians were martyred by firearms near the Akinci 4th Central Jet Command Base in Ankara’s Kazan district.

Six police officers were also martyred at Ankara Police Headquarters, which was attacked twice by a military plane and a helicopter.

Five civilians and a police officer were martyred by soldiers involved in the coup attempt near parliament and Turkish General Staff Headquarters by gunfire from a helicopter.

– 99 people martyred in Istanbul

In Istanbul, 99 people fell martyr to gunfire in areas where civilians were rallying against the coup attempt mainly on the Bogazici Bridge, in front of Istanbul Police Headquarters and the Istanbul Mayor’s Office, Ataturk Airport, the Cengelkoy Sabanci Police headquarters, and several toll booths.

Istanbul Provincial Police Chief Mustafa Caliskan and the police officers accompanying him were targeted with firearms when they were heading to the Istanbul bridge near the beginning of the coup attempt. One police officer was martyred and another was injured, while Caliskan managed to survive the attack uninjured.

A well-known political campaign organizer named Erol Olcak (53) and his 16-year-old son Abdullah were martyred by gunfire from the coup forces on Bogazici Bridge, where people rallied against the coup attempt.

Professor Ilhan Varank, the older brother of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief advisor Mustafa Varank, also lost his life along with 17 others in front of the Istanbul Mayor’s Office.

Mustafa Canbaz, a photojournalist for Yeni Safak, was also martyred during clashes between coup forces and police officers at the Cengelkoy Sabanci Police Center.

A civilian was shot in the head and martyred during the attempt to take over the Istanbul Police Headquarters when coup forces opened fire on protestors.

One civilian was martyred and many others were injured when coup forces opened fire on a crowd at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

A police officer fell martyr during an attack on the TEM highway’s Orhanlı tollbooth.

An imam from Erzurum named Ibrahim Yilmaz also fell martyr to coup soldiers attacking the crowd at Istanbul’s Sarachane Park.

The failed coup is said to have been organized by followers of U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of pursuing a long-running campaign to overthrow the government through inflitrating the Turkish state, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming the so-called “parallel state.”

Friday night rogue military elements attempted to overthrow Turkey’s democratically elected government by force. Around 160 people were martyred in the ensuing violence.

Some 2,839 military personnel involved in the coup attempt have been arrested, and 20 pro-coup soldiers, including some senior officers, were killed in the attempt to overthrow the government.

Turkey accuses Gulen of being behind the coup and called for him to return to Turkey to face trial.