After reclaiming national power from the country’s military in a bloody overnight battle, Turks took to social media Saturday to celebrate their democratic victory.
The military declared it had taken over the country in a televised statement on Friday. Nearly-toppled President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appealed to citizens to confront military forces in the streets, and violent chaos ensued.
“I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports,” Erdogan pleaded. “There is no power higher than the power of the people.”
Extraordinary photos show thousands of people swarming around tanks amid gunfire and explosions to protest the takeover as military aircrafts soar overhead. More than 160 people died and at least 1,100 were wounded in the clashes, according to state media.
On Saturday morning, Erdogan arrived at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport to announce the coup had failed and to vow retribution.
“Turkey has a democratically elected government and president. We are in charge and we will continue exercising our powers until the end,” he promised his supporters. “We will not abandon our country to these invaders. It will end well.”
The people of Turkey shared their triumphant joy on social media, with many using the hashtag #FailedCoup.