Group Within Turkish Military Attempts Coup

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | July 16, 2016, Saturday // 00:31
Bulgaria: Group Within Turkish Military Attempts Coup Photo: EPA/BGNES

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim informed late on Friday that a group within the Turkish military had attempted a coup.

Yildirim did not provide further details, but was firm that Turkey would not tolerate any such challenges to democracy, Daily Sabah quotes him as saying.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan was reported to be in safety, but Turkey's Chief of Staff is believed to have been taken hostage by a group of soldiers. Several other senior army officials are also reported as being detained.

According to Yildirim, the government remains in charge and Turkish police has taken action and will retaliate. Arrest warrants have been issued for the soldiers participating in the coup.

The entrance to Ataturk airport in Istanbul has been closed, all flights have been cancelled and tanks have been deployed outside it. Earlier, military jets were heard flying over the Turkish capital Ankara.

In a statement read out on state TV, the group claimed it has taken control over the country, establishing "peace council" and imposing curfew and martial law.

The army group, which has not been identified yet, accused the incumbent government of eroding democratic and secular rule of law and called for new constitution.

Erdogan was firm that he would overcome what he had classified as "uprising of the minority" and called on people to oppose the coup, the BBC informs.

The group has occupied strategic points in Istanbul, with traffic both the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges sealed off to traffic. Gunfire and at least one loud explosion have been reported in Ankara.

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Tags: army, turkey, military, Coup, Recep Erdogan, Binali Yildirim, Istanbul, Ankara, Turkey coup
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