On Friday evening, Turkish Prime Minister Binaldi Yildirim spoke out after low-flying jets and gunfire were ongoing in Ankara. Following these reports, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were blocked in the country during what appeared to be a military uprising. Yildirim confirmed to CNN that “some” Turkish units have attempted maneuvers, which Yildirim says won’t succeed because the elected government is still in power. However, units have taken over the main airport in Istanbul.
The Turkish military has also blocked two major bridges in Istanbul and sent out a media email with claims that it has seized power. Al-Jazeera has obtained a military statement that expresses the desire “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.”
Turkey is no stranger to coups with the military staging them in 1960, 1971 and 1980 (with a 1997 intervention). The Telegraph fills in some blanks about this particular attempted coup d’etat, which is geared towards seizing power from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Aaand as soon as the coup began, Erdogan fled the country in a private jet. Ergodan then Skyped with a CNN Turk reporter. He urged the Turkish people to flood the streets and show resistance to the attempted takeover.
Ergodan spoke further to the media and described this attempt as “a minority group,” which he promised would be “cleansed.”
At a state-run television station, a bomb has exploded. Meanwhile, Turkish civilians have taken control of a tank in this clip.
The Associated Foreign Press reports that Turkish F-16s have shot down a helicopter full of “coup plotters.” And this clip shows a helicopter opening fire towards the ground.
Complete chaos continues with a British Airways flight to Istanbul that switched courses over the Black Sea.
We will continue to update this situation as further details unfold.
UPDATE #1: Turkish coup soldiers have infiltrated CNN Turkey, and it is unknown if they will be able to continue broadcasting.
UPDATE #2: The Turkish Parliament has been bombed. Details still unfolding.