Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Police investigating report claiming Turkish coupist in Republic

People pose with policemen after troops involved in the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016

Police on Wednesday said they were investigating a Turkish newspaper report claiming an army officer who took part in the attempted coup on July 15 had escaped to Cyprus and was in the government controlled areas.

Deputy spokesperson Nikoletta Tyrimou said no other information had been provided beyond what was published by Sabah.

According to the paper, the officer, Uzay Sahin, was the one who ordered soldiers to fire at civilians who took to the street to stop the attempt to oust President Tayyip Erdogan.

Sabah claimed the officer had told his troops two days before the attempt that he was taking leave but his return would be magnificent.

It was also reported that Sahin took part in a meeting of coupists and on July 14 he arrived in Istanbul.

Sabah said he was giving orders from Istanbul during the attempt. On July 16 he went to Ankara where he tried to cross into Syria.

His attempt failed and he went to Cyprus, Sabah said, without elaborating.

For several hours on July 15, violence shook Turkey’s two main cities, as the armed faction which tried to seize power blocked a bridge in Istanbul and strafed the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in Ankara.

At least 265 people were killed. An official said 161 of them were mostly civilians and police officers, while the remaining 104 were coup supporters.

The coup attempt crumbled as Erdogan rushed back to Istanbul from a Mediterranean holiday and urged people to take to the streets to support his government against plotters he accused of trying to kill him.

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