Erdogan, pictured centre, told supporters the coup was the perfect opportunity for him to 'cleanse the army' amid claims of a major purge
* Recep Erdogan has rounded up almost 6,000 troops, judges and prosecutors following Friday night's coup
* The president addressed supporters following his dramatic return to Istanbul where he announced the clampdown
* He urged his fans to remain on the streets and occupy public spaces to prevent any retaliation by the military
* Erdogan warned his supporters that those behind the coup 'would pay a heavy price' for their treachery
Turkish president Recep Erdogan has described Friday's attempted coup as a 'gift from God' as it will allow him to 'cleanse' the army.
The hard-line Islamist leader managed to cling onto power after making a dramatic appeal over FaceTime for his supporters to confront the military who attempted to seize strategic locations in Istanbul and Ankara.
Erdogan, who was in Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast at the time rang a journalist who put him live on air to make his dramatic appeal for support.
After returning to Istanbul overnight on the Turkish Government Gulfstream IV jet, Erdogan addressed jubilant followers as his security forces launched their purge on elements accused of disloyalty.
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More News On Reports Of Mass Arrests As Members Of The Military, Judiciary, And Political Opponents Are Targeted
Turkey rounds up plot suspects after thwarting coup against Erdogan -- Reuters
Turkey Rounds Up Thousands of Military Personnel -- NYT
Turkey Clamps Down After Attempted Coup -- Time
After Turkey’s Attempted Coup, the Witch Hunt -- Haaretz
EU leaders fear repression, strained relations after Turkey’s attempted coup -- RT