Erdogan back in Ankara after coup, to chair security council

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to chair meetings of his national security council and cabinet in Ankara Wednesday after returning to the capital for the first time since the failed coup aimed at ousting him from power, officials said.

AFP| Updated: Jul 20, 2016, 12:05 PM IST

Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to chair meetings of his national security council and cabinet in Ankara Wednesday after returning to the capital for the first time since the failed coup aimed at ousting him from power, officials said.

Erdogan, who was in the Aegean resort of Marmaris when the coup struck late Friday, flew to Istanbul where he had stayed since, appearing before supporters each night.

But the president returned to the capital late Tuesday for the first time since the coup, a Turkish official told AFP.

He also held his first international bilateral meeting, hosting Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili for talks at his presidential palace in Ankara.

The president will later Wednesday at 0900 GMT chair a meeting of his national security council for the first time since the coup at his presidential palace, his office said. The council is composed of top military figures and security ministers.

Erdogan will then at 1200 GMT chair a meeting of the cabinet, also at the palace, whose immediate vicinity was bombed during the botched coup bid.

Erdogan told supporters in Istanbul on Monday that "an important decision" would be announced after the national security council meeting, without specifying.

The crunch meetings come as controversy grows over the scope of the legal crackdown against those behind the coup plot.

On Tuesday, the government suspended 15,200 state education employees allegedly linked to the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen who Ankara blames for the coup.

About 9,300 people have also been detained, including top generals accused of treason for allegedly masterminding the plot as well as soldiers, police and judges.