ISLAMABAD: Pakistani citizens stranded in Turkey, following the failed putsch by sections of the Turkish army, have returned home, confirmed the Foreign Office.
"The Pakistanis stuck in Istanbul, in the wake of recent developments in Turkey, have all been facilitated in their expedited and safe return to Pakistan,” said a statement released by the FO.
The Pakistan Embassy and Consulate General in Istanbul immediately established two emergency help lines and deputed a team of officers at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, added the statement.
“The Missions liaised closely with Turkish Airlines and arranged deployment of bigger aircraft and additional flights to bring back these Pakistani nationals numbering several hundred,” said the statement.
To accommodate the stranded Pakistanis, Turkish Airlines operated four flights to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad on the night of July 16.
The FO has expressed its gratitude to Turkish authorities for their cooperation and assistance extended to Pakistani diplomatic outposts and to the the Turkish Airlines and the other relevant Turkish authorities.
Forces loyal to the Turkish government fought on Saturday to crush the military coup attempt which crumbled after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets and dozens of rebel soldiers abandoned their tanks.
More than 194 people — including 41 police, 47 civilians, two military officers and 104 described as “coup plotters” — were killed in clashes that erupted 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, others seizing a major bridge in Istanbul.