There was complete chaos in all the major cities of Turkey as a faction of Turkish Military tried to seize power from the government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, setting off a furious scramble for power. Tanks rolled in Ankara and Istanbul and city’s airport was reportedly taken over by the armed forces. Martial Law was declared thereafter. This is not the first time it has happened as Turkey has been convulsed by military takeovers at least thrice in last five decades. The events started unfolding late on Friday as jets were seen flying low and military tried to stop traffic on two major bridges of Istanbul that connect the city to its Asian and European neighbors.
Military released a statement claiming that the coup attempt was successful and it had gained control over the proceedings. “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 the general security that was damaged. All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue.” Said a statement released by Military.
However supporters of president Erdogan claimed otherwise. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim claimed that a section of military had unsuccessfully attempted a coup. “Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command,” he said. President Erdogan too spoke to the media via Facetime from an undisclosed location. “It is carried out without my knowledge and it is completely illegal. I am inviting everyone to go outside and resist against this illegal structure,” said Erdogan claiming that he would soon join people on the streets against the uprising.
There are reports of an explosion near Taskim Square where pro government people had gathered in large numbers. Shots were also fired in the city of Ankara. Some reports claim that the parliament was also bombed, but this could not be verified. 17 police personals are reported to be dead in the fierce battle. People have taken to the streets in large numbers to protest against the power seize.
Erdogan, who has often been criticized for his increasingly authoritarian policies, seeked a check on the military. This supposedly did not seem to go down too well with a section of the armed forces who decided to overthrow his government and seize power in the process.
However, some officers of the Turkish armed forces have openly come out against the coup. Experts suggest that this might be a middle-level attempt. Only a section of the military is reported to be involved in it.