Sometimes, it is the military that finally says enough is enough and takes action to change a country’s path. That appears to be what is happening right now in Turkey. According to sources inside the country, the Turkish military has started a coup to depose the nation’s government. That report has been confirmed by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
The government has closed both the Bosporus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul. According to reports from local television channels on Friday, no reason for the closing was given. In addition, news footage from the Dogan News Agency showed cars and buses being diverted by military forces.
News network CNN Turkey showed 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 in an effort to secure government buildings and officials. In addition to troops on the streets, Turkish fighter jets have been reported over Ankara. And some stations have reported gunfire in the capitol. .
Earlier Friday, Yildirim denounced what he said was an ‘illegal attempt’ by elements in the military to overthrow the government, after bridges were partially shut down in Istanbul and jets flew low over Ankara. ‘We are working on the possibility of an attempt. We will not allow this attempt,’ he told reporters by telephone, without expanding on the nature of the move but saying it was by a group in the Turkish military.
‘Those who are in this illegal act will pay the highest price,’ he added, saying it would not be correct to describe the move as a ‘coup’. Yildirim did not provide details, but said Turkey would never allow any ‘initiative that would interrupt democracy’.
Media has been actively reporting on the situation, according to local radio and TV stations, there are reports that say the military has been detaining unarmed civilians, and that ambulances were seen in front of Turkey’s military headquarters. In addition, Fast attack jets and helicopters continue to be reported in the sky over Ankara.
There are also reports of gunshots that appear to have been heard near the presidential palace in Ankara. The mayor of Ankara has gone on television and reportedly called people onto the streets in support of the government.
The Dogan News Agency and Reuters contributed to this breaking story.
©2016 R. L. Grimes