A senior Turkish minister said on Monday that while the coup attempt had been prevented, the threat against the Turkish government remained.
Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik spoke to anti-coup protesters gathered in front of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s home in Istanbul on Monday morning.
“As of today the coup was prevented, but we can’t say the threat is gone. That is why dear Istanbulites we ask you to closely follow every statement of President, and stay at the squares until he says, ‘Ok, you can return home now’.”
The minister’s statement comes a day after Erdogan instructed F-16 military combat planes to conduct patrols across the country.
The patrol flights are being conducted for airspace control and security purposes as per Erdogan’s instructions.
The jets were used by coup leaders late Friday and Saturday morning in attacks on the country's parliament building and near the presidential complex.
Isik said that Turkey had known many coups, “but we never witnessed such a flagrant act of betrayal as this last coup attempt.”
He added that even foreign occupants had not attacked Turkish people with bombs from helicopters and jets.
On Friday night, rogue elements of the military attempted to overthrow Turkey’s democratically elected government.
At least 164 people were killed in the ensuing violence.
Over 6,000 soldiers and judges have since been arrested over alleged ties to the failed putsch, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Sunday.
The failed coup is said to have been organised by followers of US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of pursuing a long-running campaign to overthrow the government through supporters within the Turkish state, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Government says early evidence gathering indicates that the Gulen movement were the number one suspects behind the failed coup.