Turkey coup attempt: Erdogan demands U.S. send rival home
(CNN) – Turkey’s embattled President worked to reaffirm his control after an attempted coup left nearly 200 people dead in a chaotic night of violence and uncertainty.
The Turkish Prime Minister’s office said at least 161 civilians and 20 plotters were killed following an attempted coup Friday night.
The uprising was followed by swift government action against the alleged coup plotters.
Hundreds of soldiers and judges were detained or fired after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan re-emerged early Saturday, reassuring a stunned nation that he was in control.
In addition to those detained, Erdogan is demanding the United States arrest or extradite Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he blamed for the attempt at overthrowing his government.
“Twenty years ago, I clearly stated my support for democracy and I said that there is no return from democracy in Turkey,” he said Saturday. “My position on democracy is really clear. Any attempts to overthrow the country is a betrayal to our unity and is treason.”
Gulen, who’s living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, denied he had anything to do with it.
“It could be anything,” Gulen told journalists. “I have been away from Turkey for 16 years.”