Turkish PM Binali Yildirim says a total of 13,000 suspects have been taken into custody, including 1,329 police officers, almost 9,000 soldiers, 2,100 judicial members, 52 district governors and 689 civilians.

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (C) visits a section of Turkey's parliament which was hit by an air strike during the failed coup.
Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (C) visits a section of Turkey's parliament which was hit by an air strike during the failed coup.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has described the July 15 coup plotters as "sick terrorists" during a Saturday appearance on Turkish television.

Yildirim said the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) did not hesitate to use Islam to justify their bloody coup attempt.

"These people are terrorists but also they are sick terrorists because they abuse Islam."

The PM said that the coup was well-planned and if the attempt had succeeded, FETO members would have been appointed to key roles in Turkey.

"Their cadres' lists for Turkey's high-ranking positions were already written."

Yildirim repeated a revelation by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that while being held hostage, coup plotters tried to force Turkish army's Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar to speak to Fetullah Gulen over the phone.

Yildirim added that Akar had blatantly refused to speak with Gulen.

Intelligence Warnings

Yildirim said Turkey's National Intelligence Service (MIT) had warned the country's military hours before Friday's coup attempt.

MIT had supplied intelligence to the Turkish Armed Forces, but measures had not been taken, Yildirim said.

"Even our commander of the Turkish Armed Forces was taken hostage, and that part is very worrying."

The coup attempt was not reported to Yildirim who was wondering why nobody informed about the deadly attack.

"I'm still looking for the answer to this question."

During his interview, he said he and the government had been trying since 2013 to tell the military how dangerous FETO is.

"We were trying to explain to the Turkish army how serious they are. But they did not heed our advice."

Latest Figures

Yildirim also revealed the latest detention figures.

"With the count complete, the figures are as follows: 13,000 suspects have been taken into custody, including 1,329 police officers, more than 8,831 soldiers, 2,100 judicial members, 52 district governors and 689 civilians."

He added that 5,837 suspects out of 13,001 detainees were charged with having links to the coup attempt.

Turkey's government has repeatedly said the deadly plot which martyred at least 246 people and injured more than 2,100 others, was organised by followers of US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen.

Gulen is also accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the ‘parallel state'.

"Turkish Democracy Strengthened After Coup Attempt"

Turkey's ruling party has said the "nation and democracy are more powerful" after the coup attempt.

A statement on Saturday from the Justice and Development (AK) Party said the reponse by Turkish citizens had taught a lesson to those who would stage "traitorous acts".

The party's Central Executive Board said, "Although the coup attempt failed, threats and danger have not yet disappeared."

It said that Turkish people who filled city squares after the attempted coup should continue such vigils until these threats disappeared.

The statement also called for Turkish people to be on full alert for terror and cyber-attacks.

Gulen is also accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the ‘parallel state'.

Source: AA