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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
military takeover

Turkey coup: Military says it has taken over - but thousands take to the street to protest

The military said it has “completely taken over the administration of the country” but President Erdogan has urged people to take to the streets.

Turkey Military Coup Emrah Gurel / PA Wire Turkish soldiers block the Istanbul's iconic Bosporus Bridge, lit in the colours of the French flag in solidarity with the victims of Thursday's attack in Nice, France Emrah Gurel / PA Wire / PA Wire

TURKEY’S STATE-RUN Anadolu news agency is reporting that 17 police officers have been killed in the country’s ongoing attempted military coup.

This happened as a helicopter attacked the police special forces headquarters on the outskirts of Ankara.

Shots have been heard around the cities of Ankara and Istanbul this evening as the country finds itself in the middle of an attempted military takeover.

The state broadcaster TRT reported that tanks outside the country’s parliament have fired shots.

Earlier this evening Turkey was plunged into chaos after the military issued a statement that it had taken control.

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded to this by issuing a statement via video message on Turkish television.

Speaking to CNN Turk he said that the coup had come from a small group within the military and that his government would “overcome” it.

In his statement Erdoğan also asserted that he is still in control and urged his citizens to: “take to the streets.”

I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports. I never believed in a power higher than the power of the people.
We can show the tanks who’s powerful.

erdogan Sky News President Erdogan making a statement via video message on Turkish TV earlier this evening Sky News

A spokesperson for Erdoğan has said that he is in a secure location, but was not disclosing his whereabouts.

The state-run news agency TRT has reported that military helicopters have attacked the headquarters of the TURKSAT satellite station.

According to television pictures, tanks are also in place at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.

Earlier this evening people were seen running from gunfire on Bosporous Bridge in Istanbul.

Jul-15-2016 18-17-16 Sky News Sky News

Military control 

In a statement earlier this evening the Turkish military said that it had “fully seized control”: taking over key strategic locations, establishing a ‘peace council’ and putting a curfew in place.

A statement read out on state television said:

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 general security that was damaged.
All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue.

A TRT news anchor had earlier been forced to read the statement on repeat.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 5.27.15 PM TRT The military's statement being read on State broadcaster TRT earlier this evening TRT

According to AFP, the military’s top general Hulusi Akar was being held hostage at the country’s military HQ in Ankara.

Earlier this evening Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was the first to confirm to Turkish station NTV that a coup was underway.

Yildirim didn’t provide details, but said Turkey would never allow any “initiative that would interrupt democracy.”

“We are focusing on the possibility of an attempted [coup]“, Yildirim said.

“There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command. Our people should know that we will not allow any activity that would harm democracy.”


Earlier, military jets were heard flying over the capital Ankara.

Media reports said ambulances were seen in front of the Turkish military headquarters. NTV is reporting that helicopters are also flying over headquarters in Ankara.

Speaking about the attempted takeover, Yildirim said:

There are certain groups who took the arms trusted to them by the state and pointed them toward state employees.

“We shall determine soon who they are. Our security forces have acted against these groups.”

Turkey Israel AP Photo Prime Minister Binali Yildirim AP Photo

Turkey has a history of coups with governments ousted on three occasions in the last decades by full military coups.

However analysts had usually assumed that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had good relations with the military.

International response 

Following the outbreak of situation a number of governments and international institutions have called for calm.

Newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that the country’s embassy in the country is monitoring the situation and advised citizens to follow advice issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The White House has this evening said that Barack Obama has been briefed on developments in the country, which is a member of NATO and a key ally of the United States.

Speaking in Moscow earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry says he hopes for stability, peace, continuity in Turkey as coup apparently under way.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged “restraint” in Turkey after an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“In constant contact with EU Delegation in Ankara & Brussels from Mongolia. Call for restraint and respect for democratic institutions #Turkey,” she tweeted from a regional summit in Ulan Bator.

This evening Russia has also expressed shock about what is going on in the country.

“Moscow is deeply concerned about the news coming from Turkey,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that President Vladimir Putin was being constantly informed of new developments by the Russian foreign ministry and intelligence services.

Flights cancelled 

The Dogan news agency says one-way traffic on the Bosporus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges were blocked. Video footage showed the bridge being blocked by military vehicles.

There are also reports of people in the country queuing at ATM machines to withdraw money.

Reuters is also reporting that the flights in and out of Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport have been cancelled.

The Guardian is reporting that the United Nations has emailed staff saying that an attempted coup is underway.

A spokesperson for Department of Foreign Affairs said it is jointly assessing the situation with the Embassy in Ankara and following the coup with a view to updating travel advice.

The Irish Embassy in Turkey can be contacted on 0090 312 459 1000. Callers are asked to leave a message in the Duty Officer voice mailbox that will be monitored regularly.

Additional reporting from Michael Sheils McNamee, Cliodhna Russell and AFP.

Read: Istanbul airport terror attack death toll rises to 41, with 239 injured

Associated Foreign Press
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