Turkish military declares takeover of country, top officials reportedly taken hostage
Turkey’s government appears to have been overthrown in a coup, as the military claimed taking control over the country.
Follow RT's live updates on the coup in Turkey
“Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and the general security that was damaged,” the military said in a statement. “All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue.”
Heavily armed soldiers and military vehicles closed the two main bridges in Istanbul Friday evening, and while low-flying military jets could be heard overhead.
Right now in the skies of #Ankara, fighter jets flying low. Please let this be some sort of training, I'm scared. pic.twitter.com/GBOIZL1sNZ— Marina Lourenço (@lourenco_marina) July 15, 2016
Around midnight local time, a TRT anchor announced the country was now run by a “Peace Council” that will ensure the safety of the population.
Tanks have been posted outside Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport and in other locations in the city.
#Turkish troops deployed to Istanbul, civilian footage shows. pic.twitter.com/8xpSinNLCf— Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish) July 15, 2016
Access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is being blocked, while the state-owned TRT television has gone off the air, according to reports from inside Turkey. It's website shows weather.
“Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command," Prime Minister Bulent Yildirim said, in comments broadcast by private channel NTV.
Tanks deployed at Istanbul's international airport, flights halted https://t.co/asEXT0CTR7pic.twitter.com/jn2KjCCsyd— BNO News (@BNONews) July 15, 2016
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag reportedly blamed the coup on Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish preacher currently residing in the US. A former ally of President Erdogan’s AKP party, Gülen fell out of favor in 2013.
President Recep Erdogan is reportedly on vacation in the southern Turkish resort town of Bodrum.
About half an hour after midnight local time on Saturday, Erdogan appeared on CNN Turk (via Skype), issuing a statement blaming "parallel state" for the coup, calling for people to take to the streets, and vowing "We will overcome this."
Surreal. President Erodgan on skype on Tv presenter's phone on CNN Turk blaming "parallel state" for coup attempt pic.twitter.com/7u76kOwhxL— Laura Pitel (@laurapitel) July 15, 2016
Tanks have been posted outside Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, while armored vehicles were photographed outside TRT offices.
All flights from Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport have been canceled, Reuters reported citing a witness.
The Turkish military announced it was seizing power in the country “to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights.”
Happening in #Turkey right now. Whoa. pic.twitter.com/IVcf4tflot— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 15, 2016
People are standing in lines to get money from ATM's.
Und im ganzen Chaos ziehen die Leute zur Sicherheit ihr Geld ab. #Tuerkeipic.twitter.com/WEr6aQw51j— Jasmin Kosubek (@JasminKosubek) July 15, 2016
US Secretary of State John Kerry said he hopes for “peace and continuity” in Turkey, AFP reported.