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Turkish defense minister sees remaining threat to current government

July 18, 9:59 UTC+3 ANKARA
The minister asks protesters against the coup attempt to stay at the squares
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Turkey's Minister of National Defense Fikri Isik

Turkey's Minister of National Defense Fikri Isik

© AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool

ANKARA, July 18. /TASS/. The threat to the current government of Turkey still exists despite the fact that the military coup attempt was quashed, Minister of National Defense Fikri Isik said on Monday.

"As of today the coup was prevented, but we can’t say the threat is gone," Isik told protesters against the coup attempt in Istanbul. "That is why dear Istanbulites we ask you to closely follow every statement of Mr. President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan), and stay at the squares until Mr. President says, ‘Ok, you can return home now’," he added.

Isik was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying that Turkey had known many coups, "but we never witnessed such a flagrant act of betrayal as that last coup attempt."

A group of insurgents attempted a coup in Turkey overnight to Saturday. Bombs were dropped on the parliament building and the presidential palace in Ankara. The country’s leadership later said that the coup was quashed. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that the situation is under the control of the official government.

According to latest reports, 290 people died and 1,440 more were injured, not including participants in the coup attempt. Over 6,000 people were arrested after a failed coup attempt.

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