People power quashes rebels

ISTANBUL — Defiant Turkish civilians climbed on tanks and yanked soldiers from their vehicles as Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the masses to go to the streets to show people power.

Mobs of protesters were seen marching on the streets, chanting “shoulder to shoulder against the coup” as they stopped the military from advancing. One man was pictured lying on the road in front of a tank and several others tried to rip a soldier who poked out of the tank’s observation hatch.

There were others who celebrated the military intervention by gathering on the streets and waving Turkish flags. However, their numbers quickly dwindled after government forces went head on against the rebel soldiers who had later surrendered.

Some took out their belts and started hitting the rounded up soldiers.

While the government said the coup situation was “90 per cent under control” — although some military commanders were still being held hostage by the plotters — the nation is teetering in the brink of civil war.

Erdogan said yesterday: “Another uprising attempt in Turkey could be staged at any time. It is necessary for the people to stay in charge on the streets.”

He later sent a mass text message to Turkish mobile phones imploring Turks to “stand up” for democracy and peace.

The message, which came from “RT ERDOGAN” and was signed with his full name, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also called on people to take to the streets against a “narrow cadre”.

Erdogan became president in 2014 after securing a slim 52 per cent of the votes. His Islamist views, however, remain unpopular with many as he tries to turn Turkey away from secularism. There are those who believe the coup will help them rid the government which they see no other way of deposing.

“We are terrified of civil war,” a source in Izmir told Breitbart London.

“The Army is telling us to stay indoors but government officials are telling us to go out.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey has demanded the extradition of officers who went to Greece, NTV television reports.

Greece’s defence ministry says seven military personnel and one civilian have landed there in a Blackhawk military helicopter and asked for asylum. They were arrested for illegal entry.

In public statements, Erdogan and other members of the government also directed their ire at the Fethullah Gulen movement, anchored to the spiritual teachings of an aging cleric who lives in Pennsylvania, US.

The Gulenists, once Erdogan’s friends, now supposedly sought to undermine the government through their proxies in various institutions of the state.

Erdogan appeared to accuse the coup plotters of trying to kill him, and promised to purge the armed forces, which in the past have staged a number of successful coups.

“They will pay a heavy price for this,” he said.

“This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.”

Flag carrier Turkish Airways resumed flights yesterday. Malaysia Airports, the operator of Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, Istanbul’s second airport, said it would continue to process flights in and out of Turkey. — Agencies

Key players

Armed forces

Turkey’s military is a trusted institution, seen as the guardian of the secularist principles on which modern Turkey was founded. It has intervened in national politics a number of times, including three previous coups since 1960, and as recently as 1980, it ousted an Islamist prime minister. The military has opposed interventions abroad, but it is not known how its senior officers, many of them appointed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, feel about his recent interventions in Syria.

President Erdogan

An Islamist and populist who has been the dominant figure in the country for more than a decade, Erdogan came to power promising to reform the economy and give the country’s rural, more religious majority a bigger voice in the capital. More recently, he has grown increasingly autocratic and alienated many Turks as he cracked down on protests, took control of the media and renewed a war with Kurdish militants in the country’s southeast.

Fethullah Gulen

Gulen is a former imam and one-time ally of Erdogan who now lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, and has an extensive following in Turkey. He has promoted a more liberal stream of Islam, and his ideas are popular with the country’s police and intelligence establishments, although not necessarily the military. Erdogan accused Gulen and his supporters, whom Erdogan has called terrorists, of being responsible for the coup. He has repeatedly accused Gulen of plotting against him in the past. The Gulen movement has denied any involvement in the coup attempt and denounced any military intervention in Turkey’s domestic affairs.

Republican People’s Party

The leftist main opposition party is considered less pro-American than the governing Justice and Development Party. It has been trying to find a way to break Erdogan’s political grip, but it would not be likely to benefit from a coup. In the past, the military has tended to sideline leaders of all political parties when it took power. In a statement, party leaders spoke out against the coup.

Nato and the US

Turkey has been an American ally and a Nato member since 1952. Although the Obama administration has criticised Erdogan’s crackdown on civil society in Turkey, the US sees him as a stabilising and mainly pro-Western leader in a volatile region. The American-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq makes heavy use of the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.

161 killed, over 1,400 injured in coup bid

ISTANBUL — Forces loyal to the Turkish government fought yesterday to crush the remnants of a military coup attempt which crumbled after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan’s call to take to the streets and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.

At least 161 were killed and 1,440 wounded in violence that erupted late on Friday after a faction of the armed forces attempted to seize power using tanks and attack helicopters, some strafing the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in Ankara, while others seizing a major bridge in Istanbul.

Turkish authorities detained 2,839 members of the armed forces, officials said. Chief of staff Hulusi Akar, who had been reported held hostage by the rebels, has been rescued.

Five generals and 29 colonels were removed from their posts.

Turkish authorities also removed 2,745 judges and five members of High Council of Judges and Prosecutors.

Erdogan, who had been holidaying on the southwest coast when the coup was launched, flew into Istanbul before dawn yesterday.

Addressing a crowd of thousands of flag-waving supporters at the airport later, Erdogan said the government remained at the helm, although disturbances continued in Ankara.

The pro-coup faction said in an emailed statement from the Turkish military General Staff’s media office address that it was determinedly still fighting. Calling itself the Peace at Home Movement, the faction also called on people to stay indoors for their own safety.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said rebel soldiers, who had taken control of military aircraft, had fired from the air and fighter jets had been scrambled to intercept them. The soldiers also raided CNN Turk’s office, forcing broadcasters off the sets.

Gunfire and explosions rocked both Istanbul and Ankara in a chaotic night after soldiers took up positions in both cities and ordered state television to read out a statement declaring they had taken power. By dawn, however, the noise of fighting died down considerably.

Around 50 soldiers involved in the coup surrendered on one of the bridges across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, abandoning their tanks with their hands raised in the air.

Earlier, around 30 pro-coup soldiers surrendered their weapons after being surrounded by armed police in Istanbul’s central Taksim square.

They were taken away in police vans as a fighter jet repeatedly screeched overhead at low altitude, causing a boom that shook surrounding buildings and shattered windows.

Lawmakers hid in shelters inside the parliament building, which was being fired on by tanks. An opposition MP told Reuters parliament was hit three times and many had been wounded.

A Turkish military commander also said fighter jets had shot down a helicopter used by the coup plotters over Ankara. State-run Anadolu news agency said 17 police personnel were killed at the Special Forces headquarters there.

Soldiers took control of TRT state television, which announced a countrywide curfew and martial law. An announcer read a statement on the orders of the pro-coup faction that accused the government of eroding the democratic and secular rule of law. Turkey would be run by a “peace council” that would ensure the safety of the population, the statement said.

TRT went off the air shortly afterwards. It resumed broadcasting in the early hours of yesterday.

Celebratory gunfire erupted in Syria’s capital Damascus after the army claimed to have toppled Erdogan.

Turkey suffered numerous bombings and shootings this year, including an attack two weeks ago by Islamists at Ataturk airport as well as those staged by Kurdish militants. The airport carnage left 40 people dead.

Erdogan’s AK Party had a strained relationship with the military and nationalists in a state founded on secularist principles after World War I. The military has a history of mounting coups to defend secularism, but has not seized power directly since 1980. — Agencies

Historic coups

France, 1799

As soon as Napoleon Bonaparte returned from his spectacular victory in Egypt in October 1799, he began his plot to overthrow the five-member Directory that ruled France. Helped by his public popularity, he kept his own intentions of power secret while feigning support to all sides involved in France’s rule. He was made one of three provisional consuls by the Council of Ancients, the upper house of France’s legislature. Napoleon eventually became first consul and completed his consolidation of power in 1804, when he crowned himself emperor.

Libya, 1969

Muammar al-Gaddafi always hated the Libyan monarchy and its Western backers and, as a junior army officer aged 27, he pounced on what he considered the country’s weakening leadership. On Sept 1, 1969, with the help of 70 co-conspirators, he ordered military vehicles into the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi and surrounded the royal palace and other key government buildings while King Idris was out of the country. They cut off communications inside the country and arrested officials and, the same morning, Gaddafi used a radio statement to tell the country the regime had been toppled. He was eventually killed 42 years later during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

Uganda, 1971

Like Gaddafi, Idi Amin became a top general in the Ugandan army. He was initially on good terms with president Milton Obote, who led the country to independence from Britain in 1962. However, the two fell out and when news reached Amin that Obote had secretly ordered his arrest, he moved troops into the capital of Kampala and took control of strategic buildings while Obote was out of the country. Like Gaddafi, Amin used a radio address to tell his countrymen of the coup and he later became known as the “Last King of Scotland”.

He is believed to have killed around 300,000 political opponents during his eight-year reign before being deposed. He fled to Saudi Arabia without ever facing charges. He died in 2003.

Chile, 1973

Augusto Pinochet was made head of the Chilean army at around the same time he joined a coup plot, backed by the Central Intelligence Agency, against the man who had promoted him, president Salvador Allende. In September 1973, land and sea military moved in on strategic positions in the port city of Valparaiso and the presidential palace in Santiago. On Pinochet’s orders, two fighter jets used rockets to bombard the palace and as soldiers stormed the building, Allende transmitted a radio announcement to the country blasting the “traitors” and stating his love for the country. He then committed suicide, leaving Pinochet to take control. He died in 2006 aged 91.

coups in Turkey

May 27, 1960

First coup in the Turkish Republic. President, prime minister and others arrested and tried for treason and other offences.

March 12, 1971

Economic downturn leads to widespread unrest. The military intervenes again to “restore order”.

Sept 12, 1980

Clashes between left and right-wing groups lead to another army coup. Hundreds of thousands of people arrested in following years, dozens executed.

Feb 28, 1997

Military offers series of “recommendations” following rise of Welfare party. Government accepts, prime minister forced to resign.

Wales rise as England slump

PARIS — Wales’ memorable charge to the Euro 2016 semi-finals has lifted Chris Coleman’s side up 15 places to 11th in the latest FIFA World Rankings published on Thursday.

Wales lost to England in Group B but went on to beat Northern Ireland and Belgium, the second best team in the world, before a 2-0 loss to Portugal.

Champions Portugal jumped two rungs to sixth with beaten finalists and hosts France climbing 10 spots to seventh.

England’s dismal showing in France where they lost to minnows Iceland saw them slip two spots to 13th The Icelanders are now in 22nd spot, above European football heavyweights the Netherlands who failed to make the 2016 championship.

Despite losing the Copa America Centanario final to Chile Argentina retain the rankings’ summit ahead of the Belgians, Colombia, Germany and Chile.


1. Argentina

2. Belgium

3. Colombia

4. Germany

5. Chile

6. Portugal (+2)

7. France (+10)

8. Spain (-2)

9. Brazil (-2)

10. Italy (+2)

11. Wales (+15)

12. Uruguay (-3)

13. England (-2)

14. Mexico (+2)

15. Croatia (+12)

16. Poland (+11)

17. Ecuador (-4)

18. Switzerland (-3)

=19. Turkey (-1)

=19. Hungary (+1)


Roma get Juan Jesus

ROME — Defender Juan Jesus is set to join AS Roma from rivals Inter Milan, after the Roman club said the Brazillian had arrived at the club.The 25-year-old struggled to break through into the starting line-up under manager Roberto Mancini last season, making just 19 appearances in the league, after being a regular for three seasons at the San Siro. Italian media reports said the defender will join Roma on a loan deal, with an option of a permanent move. “On Wednesday defender Juan Jesus left Inter and arrived at Roma’s training camp in Pinzolo,” Roma said on their website ( The central defender, who can also play as a leftback, joined Inter from Brazilian side Internacional in January 2012. — Reuters

Karius foregoes Olympics

LIVERPOOL — Loris Karius has sacrificed his Olympic dream to try and replace Simon Mignolet as the first-choice goalkeeper at new club Liverpool, the 23-year-old German has said. Karius, who has represented his country at the under-21 level, joined Jurgen Klopp-managed Liverpool in May from German side Mainz 05 and will vie with current number one keeper Mignolet for a starting spot. “I spoke with the manager and we said that it doesn’t make sense for me to go to the Olympics as I would miss the first two league games of the season and of course I want to play,” Karius told the British media. “We agreed together I wouldn’t be going (to Rio). First I spoke with Jurgen and then together we spoke with the German officials who wanted me to go. “The priority is the club. It’s more important I am available for the start of the season.” — Reuters

Cahill for Melbourne

SYDNEY — Striker Tim Cahill has agreed a deal in principle with Melbourne City FC and will end his stay at Chinese Super League side Hangzhou Greentown, Australian media reports said yesterday.

David Gallop, chief executive of the Football Federation of Australia (FFA), said negotiations were underway with the former Everton forward, who is likely to feature as a guest player for Melbourne.

“All I can say at the moment is we’re having positive talks, on going with Tim,” Gallop said.

Newly appointed head of the Australian League, Greg O’Rourke said that the 36-year-old’s return to his native country would help grow the sport in the country.

“If you’re bringing back the Tim Cahills of the world, they can really make a difference in the marketing of this league,” he said. — Reuters

Berahino must get head straight (*With Pix)

LONDON — Striker Saido Berahino must avoid another transfer outburst and focus on West Bromwich Albion’s upcoming Premier League campaign, said midfielder Darren Fletcher. Berahino suggested he will never play for the club again at the start of last season after failing to secure a last-minute transfer to Tottenham Hotspur and, according to British media reports, has refused a new deal at West Brom. “If he signs, great, and if he doesn’t he might be here for another season so we want him to get his head down and score as many goals as possible,” Fletcher told British media. Berahino, 22, scored four league goals in 31 appearances in the last campaign as West Brom finished 14th in the league. — Reuters

Canos drops to Norwich

LIVERPOOL — Promising Spanish winger Sergi Canos’s search for more first team football saw him drop down a division on Wednesday, signing for second-tier Norwich City from Premier League giants Liverpool for a reported £2million (RM10.5million). The 19-year-old, who has represented Spain at Under-17 and Under-19 levels, signed a four-year contract and could cost the Canaries a further £2million depending on the number of times he plays for them. Canos, who had been with Liverpool since 2013, progressing through the academy system, played just once for the Merseysiders in the Premier League, the final game of last season. Cano had a successful spell on loan at second-tier Brentford last term scoring seven times. — AFP

Fernandes now Russian (*With Pix)

MOSCOW — CSKA Moscow’s Brazilian right-back Mario Fernandes will be able to play for Russia after he became the latest foreign player to be granted citizenship. The 25-year-old defender, who has won three Russian Premier League titles, is the third foreign-born football player to receive Russian citizenship over the past year. “After transferring to CSKA in 2012, Russia became a real home for me and I had the desire to play for Russia,” said Fernandes. Sports minister Vitaly Mutko said in March that Russia was interested in having Fernandes in the Russian side. Lokomotiv Moscow’s Brazilian goalkeeper Guilherme and twice-capped Germany international Roman Neustadter received Russian passports ahead of Euro 2016 and were included in the squad for the tournament. — AFP

Stones set to be costliest defender

LIVERPOOLEverton will slap a world-record fee for defender John Stones’ as interest in the highly-rated defender heats up thanks to persistent interest from Manchester City.

The centre-back will cost potential suitors more than the £49 million (RM255 million) City paid Liverpool when Raheem Sterling moved a year ago, with Brazilian defender David Luiz’s £50 million (RM262 million) fee seen as a starting point for the Goodison Park outfit to even consider negotiations.

The Merseysiders are preparing for an imminent bid from Manchester City as Pep Guardiola aims to step up his Sky Blue revolution with Stones’ capture.

The current record stands at the £50 million (RM262 million) Paris Saint-Germain paid Chelsea for David Luiz in June 2014.

But it is understood Everton will tell City that negotiations will only begin at the £50 million (RM262 million) figure, and the fee can only rise higher from there.

It is thought the Etihad club will make a formal offer for the 22-year-old England international as early as this weekend, with suggestions from within the club pointing to an offer matching the £40 million (RM210 million) approach Chelsea made last season.

But that won’t be enough to reel the Goodison outfit in to the discussion table.

New Everton boss Ronald Koeman will hold out for much more as he looks to raise the much-needed cash to sign a top-class replacement.

The Toffees have been pursuing Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly , but have been quoted almost £50 million (RM262 million) — and this explains why Everton see Stones as a record-breaking sale.

New Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is also a huge fan of Stones and tried to sign the England centre-back for Chelsea last summer.

The Stones transfer fee could rise much higher if Old Trafford interest is translated into a rival bid.

Stones has made it clear he wants to leave, but he will have to wait while a deal that will make him the most expensive English player ever — topping the £49 million (RM255 million) City paid last summer for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling — is thrashed out. — Agencies

Mourinho ‘loves to work’ with MU players

MANCHESTER — Jose Mourinho has hailed his Manchester United players ahead of his first game in charge this weekend.

The Red Devils kick off the Mourinho era when they take on Wigan at the DW Stadium tomorrow.

Mourinho met his new squad last week and United’s preparations have been ramped up in recent days.

And the Portuguese has taken to Instagram to discuss his first week with his new players.

“After 10 training sessions I can say: ‘I love to work with these guys,” Mourinho wrote.

New signings Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly were among those in training, as well as 18-year-old defender Axel Tuanzebe, who could make his senior United bow at the weekend, along with 17-year-old right-back Tyrell Warren.

“I don’t know them well but I just trust Nicky Butt, John Murtough who is the head of football development, and the structure’s judgment,” Mourinho said last week.

“When they say we have a few players who, in a couple of years, can be first-team players.”

Also among those in training was Luke Shaw, who could make his comeback 10 months on after suffering a double break in United’s Champions League defeat at PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

A number of those in attendance, could however, be moved on by Mourinho over the coming weeks.

“We have brought a few new faces in, we will keep some others but, in the end, it doesn’t matter who the manager is, it doesn’t matter who the new players are or who is staying or leaving,” Mourinho said earlier this week.

“It’s Man United and Man United is much more than any one of us.” — Agencies

MU sniff 
out Sanches

MANCHESTER — Manchester United have already enquired with Bayern Munich about Portuguese sensation Renato Sanches’ release clause, according to media reports in Europe.

The 18-year-old starlet made the switch from Benfica to Bayern only earlier this summer, but Sanches’ impressive Euro 2016 campaign has led to an inquiry from United.

It is thought United want to know what price they could sign Sanches for in years to come.

United missed out on the signing of the young Portuguese earlier this summer and it is understood new manager Jose Mourinho was unhappy about falling short in the race.

In a related development, United’s new striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks set to miss the club’s tour of China.

The mercurial striker is instead expected to make his pre-season friendly bow against Galatasaray when United travel to Gothenburg in Ibrahimovic’s homeland of Sweden.

Uefa rules state that all players must be given three weeks rest following their involvement in the European Championships but Zlatan would return before they fly off to China.

However, it is thought Mourinho wants to give the veteran front man an extended break to ensure he is well rested and fully recovered for the coming gruelling Premier League season.

Where transfer developments are concerned, Chelsea look set to beat the Red Devils to the signing of Portugal ace Joao Mario.

Mario has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford in the past but after impressing at Euro 2016, Chelsea have ramped up their interest in the midfielder.

The 23-year-old could now be the subject of a £46 million (RM239 million) bid from Chelsea chiefs.

United’s interest in Mario appears to have cooled but there was heavy speculation he could make the move in January or sometime earlier this summer.

The increased asking price following his Euros heroics could prove to be there decisive factor.
— Agencies

Welcome, mighty Umtiti


His name is Samuel Umtiti. And the 22-year-old France international centreback is poised to strengthen Barcelona defence for the new season.

Umtiti, who played in the last three matches in Euro 2016, joined the Catalans for €25 million (RM109 million) from Lyon on July 3 on a five-year deal.

The Cameroon-born was one of the heroes in France’s 2-0 win over world champions Germany in the semifinal. He was a difficult man to beat and kept Thomas Muller pretty quiet then.

However, France lost 1-0 to Portugal after extratime in the final via Eder’s superb strike.

Barca boss Luis Enrique will now have an option in the heart of defence — where Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano have been permanent figures in recent seasons.

And Argentine Mascherano can be pushed up to his normal role of a defensive midfielder if Sergio Busquets is injured or suspended.

Umtiti can play at leftback as well in case something happens to the established Jordi Alba.

Never mind the fact that Barca have also signed-up another 22-year-old in fellow France international Lucas Digne from Paris St Germain as cover for Alba.

Barca forked out an initial €16.5 million (RM72 million) for Digne, who was on loan at AS Roma last season.

Naturally, the physically strong Umtiti will give it all to be in the starting line-up or at least get more playing time at Nou Camp which shouldnt be a problem as he is armed with superb defensive qualities and is lighning quick.

Like they always say, a healthy competition for places. Remember, Barca’s defence can be fragile at times.

“Barca are a great club. I am looking forward to see action with them although it will be difficult to earn a place,” an excited Umtiti told reporters.

Barca fans are looking forward to know what Umtiti can do and contribute to the club.

It is also interesting to note Barca have also signed up another talented 22-year-old in Spain’s attacking midfielder Denis Suarez who came at a cut-price €3.25 million (RM14 million) in a buy-back deal after spending last season at Villarreal.

The Catalans are already planning for the future.

Barca are also eyeing Atletico Madrid’s out-of-favour striker Luciano Vietto as a cover for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, too.

It would be great for Vietto if he joins the Catalan brigade simply because he should blossom into a better attacker playing alongside such superstars.

All is not rosy for Barca though.

Barca have to find a suitable replacement for 33-year-old rightback Dani Alves who has gone to Juventus for free.

Barca could end up starting the season with Aleix Vidal at righback. Vidal has failed to impress and utility man Sergi Roberto is their only other option.

However Roberto prefers to play in midfield.

The ideal candidate would be Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin. A La Masia graduate, he seems certain to move back to Nou Camp at some point in the future.

However, Arsenal have no intention of selling him this summer and Barca apparently are unwilling to break the bank to bring back their former player.

Even if Barca have the money, Wenger will jump if the 21-year-old Bellerin returns to Nou Camp.


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