ISTANBUL (Web Desk) – An army group in Turkey says it has acquired control of the state, with bridges closed in Istanbul and aircraft flying low over Ankara.

Turkish PM Binali Yildirim earlier denounced an “illegal action” by a military “group”, stressing it was not a takeover. He said that the government remained in charge.

Traffic has been barred from cutting through both the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul, BBC reported.

Gunfire was also heard outside Istanbul police HQ and tanks are said to be placed outside the Istanbul airport. All flights are cancelled.

A statement from the military read out on NTV television said: “The power in the country has been captured in its entirety.”

But Mr Yildirim told NTV by telephone: “We are acting on the possibility of an attack. We will not allow this attempt.

“Those who are in this illegal act will pay the highest price,” he added, saying it would not be correct to describe the move as a “coup”.

There are reports Turkey’s top general has been taken the hostage at the military Head Quarter.