Turkey coup: Images showing soldier 'beheaded by government supporters' may not be genuine, it is claimed

The pictures, shared widely across social media, may instead show an older incident some users say

Samuel Osborne
Saturday 16 July 2016 12:43 BST

Graphic pictures shared on social media allegedly showing the beheading of a Turkish soldier following an attempted coup, may not be genuine some users have claimed.

The pictures show a man's body, purportedly on one of the bridges crossing the Bosphorus river in Istanbul, after he was allegedly beheaded by supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

However, a number of users on Twitter have suggested that the images may instead show an incident from 2006.

The soldiers, who had blocked the bridge throughout the coup, surrendered earlier on Saturday.

Forces loyal to Turkey's president quashed a coup attempt in a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire that left dozens dead on Saturday.

Authorities arrested thousands of people as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed those responsible "will pay a heavy price for their treason."

The chaos capped a period of political turmoil in Turkey — a Nato member and key Western ally in the fight against Isis — that critics blame on President Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule.

He has shaken up the government, cracked down on dissidents, restricted the news media and renewed conflict with Kurdish rebels.

Pro-coup soldiers surrender on Bosphorus Bridge

Prime Minister Benali Yildirim said 161 people were killed and 1,440 wounded in the overnight violence.

He said 2,839 plotters were detained. A source at the office of the presidency, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, said the 161 toll "excludes assailants".

Mr Yildirim described the night as "a black mark on Turkish democracy" and said the perpetrators "will receive every punishment they deserve."

Additional reporting by AP

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