BREAKING: Turkish Military Attempts Coup

Filed in International by on July 15, 2016

Update: 10pm EDT

Reports coming out of Turkey remain conflicting and it will be some time before a clearer picture emerges of who – if anyone – is in control.

Here is what we know and don’t know at this stage.

  • A military coup has been attempted in Turkey, in a bid to oust the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accusing him of undermining the country’s secular traditions.
  • Erdoğan, who returned to Istanbul in the early hours of the morning from his holiday in the resort of Marmaris, said the attempted coup was “treason” undertaken by “a minority within our armed forces” and vowed to use it as an opportunity to “clean up” the army.
  • The president urged people to take to the streets in defence of the government, prompting chaotic scenes as thousands protested alongside tanks.
  • Turkish officials insisted the coup had been “repelled”, with more than 50 military officers arrested in Istanbul. General Zekai Aksakalli, the commander of Turkey’s military special forces, said:

Those who are attempting a coup will not succeed … Our people should know that we will overcome this … We are in control of the situation.

  • But reports from Turkey suggested the situation was far from under control, with gunfire heard in the capital, Ankara, and in Istanbul. Erdoğan said prime minister Binali Yildirim had given orders to “eradicate” those who were shooting.

Things just got more interesting for our Turkish allies.

The Turkish military has taken control of the state run radio and television stations, and is claiming they are doing this to “preserve democratic order” in the Republic of Turkey. Nothing says “Democratic order” like a military takeover.

As is SOP during instability; social media outlets have been shut down and blocked. Reports of people rushing to withdraw money from ATMs and banks.

Turkey’s Prime Minister says the military is operating outside the chain of command and actions are confined to a small group within the military.

More details from the statement read out on the state broadcaster TRT at the behest of the military faction that seems to be behind the coup: It says that the freedom of Turkish citizens is guaranteed by what is referred to as a “peace council”, regardless of religion, race or language.

It says the Peace Council will not allow public order to be damaged.

It is worth remembering at this point that the Turkish government still claims to be in charge.

An EU source monitoring events has told Reuters that military forces have control of airports and strategic points in Istanbul.

President Obama is receiving regular updates as the situation develops.

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Comments (10)

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  1. chris says:

    Why can’t the state police just do this to Markell?

  2. chris says:

    Just joking. Looks like the citizens taking the country back!

  3. PainesMe says:

    This isn’t the first time the Turkish military has “intervened” in Democracy. In the past, they’ve done it when they felt the religious extremists have become too powerful within government. They’re typically seen as the “secular” faction.

  4. Liberal Elite says:

    Too bad they failed. Ergodan has been a total disaster and is actually an illegitimate leader.

  5. PainesMe says:

    Brian – if you’re making witty criticisms about “democratic orders”, I think you probably spoke too soon. Not sure if Erdogan is really the leader you want to align yourself with in this power struggle.

  6. Brian says:

    I don’t think I spoke too soon. Military takeover whether staged or genuine is the antithesis of democratic order. I don’t think I aligned myself with anything either. Careful on that jump to your conclusion.

  7. Liberal Elite says:

    @B “Military takeover whether staged or genuine is the antithesis of democratic order.”

    It’s not that simple. A military takeover to promote a secular government is sometimes times better than an illegitimate and oppressive religious regime.

  8. Brian says:

    It is that simple. A military takeover is not democratic. Nothing to do with whether it’s necessary, better, or not.

  9. Liberal Elite says:

    @B “A military takeover is not democratic.”

    And neither is an illegitimate and oppressive religious regime.

    Democracy was not at stake, at least not in the short term.

  10. Ben says:

    You’re very quick to line up behind a Military Junta, LE.
    What was their agenda policy? How do you know it wasn’t this “illegitimate and oppressive (one backed by the Obama Admin, btw) regime that set the whole thing up?