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(LEAD) S. Koreans stranded at Istanbul airport following coup arrive safely in country

All News 16:08 July 17, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS with more details in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean travelers who were stranded at an airport in Istanbul following an attempted coup in Turkey arrived safely in the country Sunday.

Incheon International Airport authorities said 110 people who were held up in Turkey arrived on a Turkish Airlines flight earlier in the day.

Authorities said many were tired but happy to be back home. They boarded the plane at 9:50 p.m. Saturday and flew out of Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

One traveler said people were startled by gunfire, and when they heard news that the military took over the airport, many became apprehensive.

Another said explosions rocked the walls of the airport, and some people even cried in fear.

There were some 120 South Korean at the airport, but others took connecting flights out of the country.

Members of Turkey's military staged a coup late Friday (local time), but the uprising had been put down by the democratically elected government as of Saturday.

Seoul dispatched officials from its consulate general in Ankara to Istanbul to help its nationals leave the country safety.

It moreover said a quick response team made up of two foreign ministry officials and one police officer will be sent to Turkey later in the day to ensure the safety of South Korean nationals still in the country and help them in the case they need to be evacuated.

"The team will assist Korean nationals with any visa related issues they may have and with securing flights out of the country," a government insider said.

Despite the upheaval and the government issuing travel warnings on Turkey, some people who are in the country as part of a package tour have opted to complete their trip, after hearing that the coup has been put down.

Travel agency officials said that there are only a few who are opting to continue their trips, and they have been told to be extra cautious when traveling around the country.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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