Turkey coup attempt: Military leadership knew about coup hours before its occurrence

Ankara: The General Staff of Turkish armed forces was informed of the coup attempt on Friday afternoon, a few hours before a military group attempted to overthrow democratically elected government in the country, a statement said on Tuesday. The note, published on the official website of the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey, said that National Security Organisation (MIT) had provided information of the coup attempt on July 15, 2017 at 4.00 pm (GMT 1300). "The Information was evaluated by Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar, Turkish Land Forces Commander Salih Zeki Colak, Deputy Chief of the General Staff Yasar Guler in the headquarters of general staff," state-run Anadolu Agency quoted it as saying.  The generals gave essential orders to Turkish Air and Land Forces to take the necessary measures to block the whole coup attempt.  According to the statement, the pro-coup members forced the Chief of the General Staff Akar to sign and read out the coup statement on TV.  "This demand of traitors has been angrily and definitely denied by Chief of the General Staff with libelous words," it said.  The statement condemned those involved in Friday's failed coup as having "defamed the Turkish state, its history, and its honourable armed forces".  In the statement, the Turkish General Staff vowed that anyone involved would be heavily punished.  "Our nation will decide between those who are members of an illegal terrorist organisation [FETO] and those who fight against a separatist terror organisation [PKK] for the safety of the state," Anadolu Agency quoted the statement as saying. "Victory belongs to those who believe in the superiority of law, democracy and our nation's high values and targets," the statement added.  "The coup attempt [was] completely suppressed on July 17 at 4.00 pm," said the statement.  The coup attempt occurred late on Friday night when rogue elements of the Turkish military tried to overthrow the country's democratically elected government.  Over 200 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were killed in Istanbul and Ankara and nearly 1,500 others wounded as they protested against the coup. The government has said the attempted coup was organised by followers of US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through supporters within the Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming the parallel state.