The Turkish military claims it has taken over the government and seized all power in the country.
In a statement read on television, Turkish General Staff announced that “Turkish Armed Forces took full control of power.” Earlier in the day, military vehicles, soldiers, and security forces were deployed on the streets of Istanbul and the capital of Ankara. Military jets and helicopters were seen flying over both major cities. Gunfire has been reported in the capital of Ankara. Bridges leading over the Bosphorus out of Istanbul have also been closed. A blast has been heard in Ankara.
The Turkish military is currently led by General Hulusi Akar, however Turkish Anadolu news agency reports that he has been taken hostage by the military.
According to Justice Minister Bozdag, the government prosecutor’s office in Ankara and Istanbul has opened an investigation into the actions of the rebels.
“I consider it necessary to reassure our citizens that the government has taken and continues to undertake all necessary steps,” he said.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim went on national television to stress that some elements in the military attempted to overthrow the government, but “the government elected by the people remains in charge.This government will only go when the people say so.”
“Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command,” Prime Minister Yildirim added.
It is unclear who is currently controlling the situation in the country. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly on holiday in the Turkish city of Bodrum. Erdogan is reportedly en route to the international airport in Istanbul.
“This is a mutiny attempt. We will not let this attempt win. We will uphold democracy,” he said on Turkish NTV.
In a statement, the Turkish military claims that it has taken over and that all international relations will be maintained. The government denies these claims.
The military has reportedly stormed local television stations. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube access was severed earlier.