208 People Martyred During Coup Attempt: Turkish PM

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Binali Yildirim says 7,543 people have been arrested over alleged ties to failed putsch

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said Monday that a total of 208 people have been martyred and 1,491 people wounded during Friday’s failed military coup attempt.Yildirim revealed the numbers during the council of ministers meeting at Cankaya Palace in Ankara.

“There are 208 people who have been unfortunately martyred in this coup attempt: 60 of them police officers, three of them soldiers and 145 civilians are our hero martyrs,” he said.

Yildirim added that 7,543 people have been arrested over alleged ties to the failed putsch.

“The numbers can change,” he said. “A hundred of them are police officers, 6,038 of them are soldiers of different ranks, 755 judges and prosecutors, and 650 civilians.”

Yildirim also addressed the issue of the possibility of the death penalty for coup participants.

“Although we are a state of law, we do politics for our citizens,”

During pro-government rallies over the weekend following the failed coup, calls for the restoration the death penalty for putsch plotters could be heard from the crowd.

“The demands of the people cannot be overlooked in democracies. It is your right. This right shall be examined within the constitutional framework by the concerned authorities,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday.  “We do not seek revenge. We must think about every step this way.”

“The demand of our citizens is an order for us,” said the prime minister on Monday. “However, it is not right to take a hurried decision with this level of heatedness and excitement. But, we cannot ignore this demand from our citizens.”

Yildirim said that the imposition of the death penalty requires a change of the Turkish constitution.

On Friday night, rogue elements of the military attempted to overthrow Turkey’s democratically elected government.

The failed coup is said to have been organized by followers of U.S.-based 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.

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