A top Turkish official says a coup attempt in the country appears to have been unsuccessful, adding all government officials are in charge of their offices.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkish law enforcement officials have arrested some military officers involved the coup attempt.
The military forces launched the coup d’etat in response to increasingly autocratic rule, under President Erdogan, and continuing rise of terrorism in the country.
A photo shared on social media purportedly showed soldiers inside state broadcaster TRT.
Erdogan was reportedly on vacation in the western resort area of Bodrum Friday when the military group made its moves, but according to an update from BNO News, he has returned home.
He appeared on CNN Turk via FaceTime and called on Turkish citizens to fill the streets in protest of what he called “an attempt at an uprising by a minority within our armed forces.”
“I don’t think Erdogan would be calling for citizens to come out on the streets if he felt that he had the upper hand in defeating the coup,” George Petrolekas, a fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said in an email to Global News.
“When I heard that he was calling for people to come on the streets, I figured he was in a precarious position — that is an act of desperation in my view. The fact he is also speaking by FaceTime instead of a TV station, means he is outside easy access to the machinery of power.”
Loud explosions have been heard in Turkey’s capital Ankara and CNN-Turk reports an explosion occurred at the TRT building.
Turkey’s state-run news agency report military helicopters have also attacked the headquarters of TURKSAT satellite station on the outskirts of Ankara and the Ankara Police headquarters.
Dozen of tanks were seen moving toward a palace that is now used by the prime minister and deputy prime ministers. A civilian car tried to stop one of the tanks, but it rammed through the vehicle as those in the car escaped.
Earlier in the evening, military forces closed off Istanbul’s Bosphorous and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges and sent jets into the skies over capital city Ankara.
Soldiers also seized control of the country’s main airport, Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport — the site of a terror attack that killed 41 people just 16 days ago.
All flights from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport have been cancelled, according to reports.
As the military movement began, Prime Minister Binali Yildririm stopped short of calling it a coup d’état, saying a military group acting outside the chain of command had made an “illegal attempt” to take control of the government.
“It would be wrong to call it a coup,” Yildirim said late Friday night.
He vowed to hold the perpetrators responsible.
“We will punish it [in] the hardest way,” Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported the prime minister as saying.
The U.S. Department of State tweeted there have been reports on social media that have been blocked, suggesting people looking to reach out to family and friends in the country should do so using email, telephone or text message.
Secretary of State John Kerry, in Moscow for talks on Syria with Russian officials Friday, told reporters he did not have details of the situation rapidly unfolding on the ground in Turkey and said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on developments. But he expressed hope that the key ally and strategically important member of the coalition fighting the Islamic State would remain at peace.
Canada’s foreign affairs minister is urging calm in Turkey amid reports of a coup attempt by that country’s military.
Stephane Dion’s office is urging “calm, order, safety of all people in Turkey.”
The federal government is offering consular assistance to Canadians in Turkey if it’s needed.