TURKEY (Web Desk) – The Turkish military has taken over the government and imposed martial law, according to an announcement by Turkish state TV.
The statement was made on behalf of the “Peace in the Nation” council, the announcer said. “The political administration that has lost all legitimacy has been forced to withdraw,” the anchor said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged people to take to the streets and stand up to the military during a coup attempt. “Go to the streets and give them their answer,” he told residents during a Facetime interview on CNN Turk.
“I am coming to a square in Ankara. … This was done from outside the chain of command,” he said of the military. “Those who are responsible, we will give them the necessary punishment,” he said. It was not clear where he was speaking from.
Earlier, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had claimed that some military units have attempted a coup. Yildirim vowed the coup attempt would not succeed.
He told state news agency Anadolu the coup is “an attempt against democracy and the will of the people. Those who attempted this will pay the heaviest price.”
There have been no independent verification of the claims by the military or the government. It is unclear who is in charge in Turkey.
According to the reports, military has “fully seized control of Turkey” to maintain democratic order, that rule of law must remain a priority and international relations must remain.
According to CNN, there were 200 to 300 residents in Taksim Square in Istanbul. Some of them were waving Turkish flags. About 100 police officers were shooting off tear gas, trying to disperse the crowd.
At least one army tank and one other military vehicle were at the square.
Loud explosions have been heard in Turkey’s capital Ankara and CNN-Turk reports an explosion occurred at the state-run television building.
Turkey’s state-run news agency report military helicopters have also attacked the headquarters of TURKSAT satellite station on the outskirts of Ankara and the Ankara Police headquarters.
Dozen of tanks were seen moving toward a palace that is now used by the prime minister and deputy prime ministers. A civilian car tried to stop one of the tanks, but it rammed through the vehicle as those in the car escaped.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Moscow that he has been given reports about what is going on. “I don’t have any details. I hope there will be peace, stability and continuity in Turkey,” he said.
A report from the U.S. Embassy in Ankara said military-appearing jets had been flying low over the city and Istanbul for about an hour.
One tweet showed a military jet flying extremely low over the capital Ankara.
Two bridges in Istanbul are closed in one direction by the military. Cars are flowing from the European side of the city to the Asian, but soldiers and military vehicles are blocking the path to the European side.
According to the Guardian News, Tanks opened fire near the parliament building in the Turkish capital Ankara during an ongoing military coup.
Intelligence analysts have been concerned for months about simmering tensions between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish military brass as Erdogan has consolidated and expanded his power, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal assessments.
The Turkish military sees itself as a protector of moderate and secular institutions in Turkey, the official said, and Erdogan has recently been moving more aggressively to silence dissent inside the country, expand his control of the courts and clamp down on freedom of the press.
In March, the Turkish government raided the Istanbul offices of the largest-circulation opposition newspaper, Zaman. Columnists critical of the government have been fired in response to government pressure, and reporters have been imprisoned on terrorism charges.