Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated on TV late Friday evening that a group within the country’s military attempted a coup. He stated that security services were given permission to counter the attempted coup, and that “it will not be successful.” According to Yildirim, 232 people are dead with another 1,154 injured. Anadolu also reports that nearly 2,800 judges were sacked from the country’s judiciary board Saturday. According to Ankara’s prosecutor’s office, at least 42 people have been killed in the country’s capital. According to Ziya Meral, almost 800 people were detained in Istanbul.
Accusations Against the Gulen Movement
Yildirim, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag and other senior officials including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the putsch attempt on followers of former Erdogan ally Fethullah Gulen.
The Turkish government refers to the Gulen movement as the Gulenist Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Gulen, a theologian and former imam, left the country for the United States in 1999 after being charged with attempting to topple the Turkish government. Gulen now lives in self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania.
The New York-based Alliance for Shared Values (AfSV), which promotes Gulen’s teachings, quickly condemned the coup.
“Events on the ground are moving quickly and it would be irresponsible to speculate on [Gulen],” the group said on Friday night. “We remain concerned about the safety and security of Turkish citizens and those in Turkey right now.”
The AfSV later released a statement from Gulen himself, condemning and denying any capability in the coup attempt.
Fethullah Gulen condemns the attempted military coup in Turkey https://t.co/UJ3P0reFOy
— AfSV (@AfSV_US) July 16, 2016
Daily Sabah editor Mehmet Solmaz said the coup was plotted within the Gendarmerie and Air Commands of the Turkish Armed Forces.
#TURKEY This coup attempt is plotted by a group within the Gendarmerie and Air Commands. Majority of army and Police Dept. w/ the democracy.
— Mehmet Solmaz (@MhmtSlmz) July 15, 2016
According to Yildirim, a no-fly zone has been declared over Ankara. Military forces will fire at jets/helicopters flying over the city. According to a Turkish MP, the ruling AK party’s Istanbul headquarters is being encircled by soldiers. Military vehicles were seen outside of Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, blocking car access to the airport. Soldiers were seen on the two Bosphorus bridges in Istanbul, blocking access into the city. In Ankara, jets were seen flying low over the city. Over 120 people have been arrested because of the coup.
According to Turkish state TV, 17 police officers were killed after an explosion struck the police special forces training center in Ankara’s Golbasi district. According to Anadolu, Turkey’s top general Hulusi Akar is being “held hostage” at military headquarters. According to Daily Sabah, state broadcaster TRT was seized. According to Zaman, shots are being fired from helicopters believed to be under the puschists’ control at TRT. According to a military statement made on Turkish state TV, a curfew has been declared throughout the country. According to NTV, Turkish F-16s shot down a helicopter believed to have been carrying “coup plotters.” According to Yildirim, one MP died and 12 civilians were injured, two of which critically after an explosion near Turkish Parliament in Ankara.
According to Hurriyet, a group of soldiers entered the Dogan Media Center, where CNN Turk and Hurriyet are based, and took hostages. Soon after, CNN Turk went off the air. According to TFT, their headquarters were hit by a percussion bomb.
According to Aziz Ahmad, U.S. air assets at Turkey’s Incirlik air base used in the war against the Islamic State has been grounded by the Turkish military. The FAA has banned U.S. airlines from traveling to/from the Istanbul and Ankara airports.
In a statement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that army fractions “will pay” for the attempted coup. He was vacationing on Turkey’s Aegean coast before returning to Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport upon hearing about the attempting coup. According to Erdogan, the hotel he was staying at was bombed after he left for Istanbul.
“I urge the Turkish people to convene in public squares,” Erdogan said. “There is no power higher than the power of the people. Turkey won’t be governed from Pennsylvania.”
According to Turkish Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus, the country’s government will discuss bringing back the death penalty for the coup’s plotters. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has demanded Greece to return eight soldiers that participated in the coup to Turkey, after they fled. According to Cavusoglu, Greece has committed to extraditing those soldiers.
“This country has suffered a lot from the coups,” Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in a written statement. “We do not want these difficulties to be repeated. It should be known that the CHP fully depends on the free will of the people as indispensable of our parliamentary democracy.”
Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli called Yildirim after news of the coup broke, expressing his party’s support of the democracy and people’s free will.
“The coup attempt is a dark stain on our military,” former Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on NTV. “This is a huge mistake.”
“Democracy should not be replaced,” the People’s Democratic Party said in a statement. “HDP is under all circumstances and as a principle against all kinds of coup.”
“In constant contact with EU Delegation in Ankara & Brussels from Mongolia. Call for restraint and respect for democratic institutions #Turkey,” European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini tweeted from a regional summit in Ulan Bator.
Update – Reuters: #Turkey's military says in a statement that the military has taken over
— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) July 15, 2016
Atatürk Havalimanı önünde tanklar var. pic.twitter.com/VKBy6fENPB
— 140journos (@140journos) July 15, 2016
ANKARA, Turkey (@AP) — Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says a group within the military engaged in an attempted coup
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 15, 2016
#BREAKING Turkey's top general 'held hostage' at military HQ: state agency
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 15, 2016
— CNN Türk ENG (@CNNTURK_ENG) July 15, 2016
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 15, 2016
Soldiers on Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul shouting to communters: "Curfew has been imposed, go home!". pic.twitter.com/XmIlEgHdrC
— Has Avrat (@hasavrat) July 15, 2016
— CNN Türk ENG (@CNNTURK_ENG) July 15, 2016
— efe kerem sozeri (@efekerem) July 15, 2016
BREAKING — Group attempting to stage a coup seizes state broadcaster TRT pic.twitter.com/1jtznd8p7K
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) July 15, 2016
— Emre Celik (@emrecelikrumi) July 15, 2016
Header photo: https://twitter.com/140journos/status/754045549008064516