Turkey detains 11 involved in bid to ‘kidnap’ Erdogan

Turkish special forces capture 11 soldiers suspected of planning to seize President Erdogan during coup attempt.

Turkish special forces detain nine soldiers for attempted coup hotel attack
A total of 37 soldiers were reportedly involved in the operation to seize Erdogan in Marmaris [Reuters]

Turkish special forces have captured 11 soldiers suspected of being involved in a bid to seize President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during last month’s failed coup attempt, the state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

The 11 soldiers were caught in the Ula district of Mugla province after Turkish special forces, supported by helicopters and drones, were sent to the area after a tip-off from a local, state-run media said on Monday.

Gunfire broke out as the special forces clashed with the fugitives, but there were no reports of any casualties.

The soldiers were part of a group that launched an attack on a hotel where Erdogan was holidaying on the night of July 15 in the southwestern resort of Marmaris.

Erdogan, having been tipped off that he was in danger, had fled the hotel by the time they arrived.

A total of 37 soldiers were reportedly involved in the operation to seize Erdogan in Marmaris and 25 of them had been caught earlier, according to state media.

READ MORE: The lessons to be learned from Turkey’s failed coup

Their capture came after Turkey dismissed nearly 1,400 more members of its armed forces and sacked a top military council with government ministers on Sunday in moves to tighten control of the military after the coup.

On Monday, Erdogan said that 18,699 people had been detained since the coup, with 10,137 of them placed under arrest.

Thousands of the detained have now been released, with an Istanbul court freeing 758 soldiers late on Friday, adding to another 3,500 former suspects already freed.

Turkish authorities have blamed Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric, for the coup attempt. Gulen has denied the charges.

Gulen was a one-time ally of Erdogan but the two fell out in recent years over a number of policy issues and personal clashes, according to officials, reports and insider accounts. 

The government has since vowed to “cleanse” the civil service of his supporters. 

Source: News Agencies