Following Friday’s attempted coup, there have been hundreds of death and over a thousand injured. It is not yet not known who is behind the attack, though thousands of suspects have already been arrested.
The coup began Friday when the bridges, the Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, were closed without reason. At the entrance were two military vehicles and a large number of soldiers.
Tensions have been high in the Turkey republic since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), came to power. His reshuffling of the government, particularly his attempts to drive the military out of politics, has left the country on alert.
The Bosphorus Bridge is of high symbolic and strategic importance, given it connects Asia and Europe and plays an integral role for the transportation within Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city. Its seizure acted as a political statement and within hours, the faction was confronted by Erdogan supporters, sparking a fierce clash.
According to reports, Erdogan urged his supporters out onto the streets of Istanbul and Turkish capital Ankara to combat the coup. Hundreds were shot at and killed, both coup, civilian and military members.
By early morning, after the police use of a water cannon, the coup began to lose strength and ultimately surrendered. Huge crowds flocked to the bridge in order to celebrate, with scores of pictures surfacing on social media of revellers sitting upon tanks.
Regarding who is behind the coup, there are multiple theories. The AKP appears to blame the influence of the Gulen movement, with General Umit Dundar determined to remove Gulen members from within the military.
The Gulen movement refers to political figure Muhammed Fethulla Gulen, a preacer, imam and writer, whose relationship with Erdogan soured after a corruption scandal, prompting him into a self-imposed exile to the US. Erdogan has now demanded the US return him.
Other theories suggest the coup was a ‘false-flag attack,’ implying Erdogan himself staged the event in order to gain power and remove any oppositions.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binaldi Yildirim has called the coup a “black stain” on the country’s democracy. Whoever is responsible, Erdogan has promised they will “pay a heavy price.” He has since taken extreme measures, having rounded up thousands of suspects, fired over 2700 judges and issued arrest warrants for a number of administrative court members.