Turkish Military Stages Coup, Institutes Martial Law

Turkish soldiers are seen on the Asian side of Istanbul, Friday, July 15, 2016. A group within Turkey's military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup, the prime minister said, with military jets flying over the capital and reports of vehicles blocking two major bridges in Istanbul. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told NTV television: "it is correct that there was an attempt," when asked if there was a coup.

Turkish soldiers are seen on the Asian side of Istanbul, Friday, July 15, 2016. A group within Turkey’s military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup, the prime minister said, with military jets flying over the capital and reports of vehicles blocking two major bridges in Istanbul. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told NTV television: “it is correct that there was an attempt,” when asked if there was a coup.

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s armed forces “fully seized control” of the country Friday, according to a statement from the military published by a Turkish news agency, as gunfire was heard outside military headquarters, fighter jets buzzed over the capital and vehicles blocked two major bridges in Istanbul. The prime minister, however, said there was an “attempt” at a coup.

Soldiers blocked entry to Ataturk Airport where four tanks were stationed, according to the private Dogan news agency. Two other tanks and a military vehicle were stationed in front of the VIP terminal. The report said the soldiers had entered the tower and stopped all flights.

News reports said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was safe and would make a televised statement soon.

The military said it seized control “to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated.”

The military statement went on to say that “all international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue.”

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that a group within the military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup.

Yildirim told private NTV television: “it is correct that there was an attempt,” when asked if there was a coup. Yildirim didn’t provide details, but said Turkey would never allow any “initiative that would interrupt democracy.”

“We are focusing on the possibility of an attempt (coup),” Yildirim said. “There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command. Our people should know that we will not allow any activity that would harm democracy.”

Military jets were heard flying over Ankara and Istanbul. Gunfire was heard outsideTurkey’s military headquarters in Ankara, while media reports said ambulances were seen out front.

“There are certain groups who took the arms trusted to them by the state and pointed them toward state employees,” Yildirim said. “We shall determine soon who they are. Our security forces have acted against these groups.”

The Dogan news agency says one-way traffic on the Bosporus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges were blocked. Video footage showed the bridge being blocked by military vehicles.


The Latest on what appears to be an attempted military coup in Turkey:

12:50 a.m.

Turkey’s president has urged citizens to take to the streets in a show of support for the government after the military said it seized full control of the country.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to CNN-Turk through FaceTime, called the actions by the military “an attempt at an uprising by a minority within our armed forces.”

The president’s office refused to disclose Erdogan’s whereabouts, saying he was at a secure location. Erdogan said “I don’t believe this coup attempt will be successful.”

Erdogan added: “There is absolutely no chain of command here. Right now the chain of command has been put on hold.”

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12:35 a.m.

The White House says President Barack Obama has been briefed on developments in key NATO ally Turkey where the military claims to have seized power in a coup.

The National Security Council said Obama had been apprised of Friday “unfolding situation” in Turkey and would continue to get regular updates.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he hopes for stability and continuity inTurkey following the reports.

Kerry, in Moscow for talks with Russian officials on Syria on Friday, told reporters he didn’t have details of the situation rapidly unfolding on the ground in Turkey and said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on developments. But, he expressed hope that the key ally and strategically important member of the coalition fighting the Islamic State would remain at peace.

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12:25 a.m.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials have called on their countrymen in Turkey to stay indoors amid uncertainty about whether a military coup is taking place.

Lavrov made the statement early Saturday at a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. However, Lavrov, who had been in lengthy talks with Kerry, said he had little information about what was taking place in Turkey.

Russia’s tourism authority issued a similar warning. Turkey had long been a popular vacation destination for Russians, but the numbers dropped sharply last year when Russia banned package tours to Turkey amid tensions over Turkey shooting down a Russian warplane and it was unclear how many Russians currently are in the country.

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12:20 a.m.

A Turkish military statement read on state TRT television says the military has seized power, citing rising autocratic rule and increased terrorism.

But CNN-Turk has quoted Defense Minister Fikri Isik as describing it as a “pirate statement.”

Earlier, another statement published by the private Dogan news agency says that the military has “fully seized control” of the country.

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11:45 p.m.

A Turkish news agency has published a statement from the military saying the armed forces have “fully seized control” of the country.

The Dogan agency reported that the statement said that the military did this “to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated.”

The military statement went on to say that “all international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue.”

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11:10 p.m.

Turkey’s prime minister says a group within Turkey’s military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup.

Binali Yildirim told NTV television: “it is correct that there was an attempt.”

Yildirim didn’t provide details, but said Turkey would never allow any “initiative that would interrupt democracy.”

Earlier, military jets were heard flying over the capital, Ankara.

Media reports said ambulances were seen in front of the Turkey’s military headquarters.

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