Turkey’s PM has denounced an “illegal action” by a military “group”, with bridges closed in Istanbul and aircraft flying low over the capital, Ankara.
Binali Yildirim said the military action was not authorised but it was not a coup. He said that the government remained in charge.
Traffic has been stopped from crossing both the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul.
There are also reports of gunshots in the capital Ankara.
- TURKEY ARMED FORCES SAY THEY’VE TAKEN CONTROL OF COUNTRY
- TURKEY ARMED FORCES: TOOK CONTROL TO RESTORE FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY
- TURKEY ARMED FORCES: WE GUARANTEE VALIDITY OF ALL INTNL DEALS
- CAVUSOGLU: WE WILL PROTECT DEMOCRACY UNTIL THE END
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Shooting and explosions are being reported in the Turkish capital, Ankara, with military jets and helicopters seen in the sky above the city. According to Reuters, gunfire and explosions could be heard in the capital, where jets have been heard flying overhead, while bridges heading into Istanbul have been currently shut down.
According to AP, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says a group within the military engaged in an attempted coup.
Flashing red Bloomberg headlines confirm as much.
- TURKISH PRIME MINISTER SAYS UPRISING ERUPTS WITHIN ARMY RANKS
- YILDIRIM: THERE IS AN UPRISING WITHIN ARMY RANKS
- YILDIRIM: SOME TURKISH ARMY UNITS SIEGED SOME INSTITUTIONS
- TURKISH POLICE ORDERED TO USE ARMS IF NECESSARY: YILDIRIM
- TURKISH STATE-RUN TRT TV SHUT DOWN
- GUNSHOTS HEARD NEAR PRESIDENTIAL PALACE IN ANKARA
- *EXPLOSION HEARD NEAR TURKISH POLICE ACADEMY IN ANKARA’S GOLBASI
Curiously, the PM refuses to call this coup attempt a coup. Meanwhile president Erdogan is on holiday in the resort town of Bodrum.
As is the norm in Turkey, all social networks Twitter Facebook and YouTube have been shut down, as has the state TV.
As Reuters reported moments ago, Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge were both closed on Friday, local television channels reported, without giving a reason. Dogan News Agency footage showed cars and buses being diverted. CNN Turkey showed two military vehicles and a group of soldiers lined up at the entrance of one of the bridges in Turkey’s biggest city. A Turkish official who did not want to be named said soldiers had been deployed in other cities in Turkey, but did not specify which ones. Dogan News Agency reported the national police directorate summoned all police to duty in Ankara.
The signs were obvious earlier. Gabriel Turner, 23, a management consultant from north London, who was on holiday in Istanbul, described to the Telegraph how there had been heavy police and security presence throughout the day before the military coup got underway after sunset.
“Earlier today there were police everywhere. I thought that was normal but the two Turkish girls I was with told me it wasn’t normal. We were walking around the centre of Istanbul, at the Grand Bazaar there were police at every entrance and exit with lots of guns.
“A police helicopter was flying very low at sunset, it was about 8pm. It looked like it was searching for something. Later on, at about 10.30 I was in Karakoy, a bar area in the city centre and everyone started looking at their phones. A man who owns the bar told us that the army are taking over everything.
“Then we walked down towards the a quieter area by the sea. While we were walking, my friend said the army had closed brides across the Bosphorus. We could see army helicopters in the sky.
“We went inside a cafe and everyone was on their phones looking worried, texting. Lots of people were running to catch a ferry – because the bridges were shutting and people wanted to get home. Then policemen came out of the ferries on their walkie talkies, looking very alert.”
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