Reuters International

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar attend a funeral ceremony for Army officer Seckin Cil in Ankara, Turkey, February 18, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

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ANKARA (Reuters) - The chief of Turkey's military General Staff said on Sunday soldiers involved in last weekend's failed coup had done great harm to the country and would face "the most severe punishment", private broadcaster NTV reported.

Hulusi Akar, who was briefly taken hostage by the plotters on the night of the coup, also said the armed forces would continue to perform their duties with determination.

"These cowards in uniform, these traitors have inflicted great damage on our nation and especially on our army," he told reporters during a visit to the interior ministry in the capital Ankara to inspect damage caused during the violence.

Akar was due to meet President Tayyip Erdogan later on Sunday, Turkish media reported.

(Reporting by Gulsen Solaker; Writing by Gareth Jones)

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