The coup is over. The Erdogan government has regained control. At least 264 Turks are dead.
Turkish authorities rounded up nearly 3,000 suspected military plotters on Saturday and ordered thousands of judges detained after thwarting a coup by rebels using tanks and attack helicopters to try to topple President Tayyip Erdogan.
For several hours overnight on Friday violence shook Turkey’s two main cities, as the armed faction which tried to seize power blocked a bridge in Istanbul and strafed the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in Ankara.
At least 265 people were killed. An official said 161 of them were mostly civilians and police officers, while the remaining 104 were coup supporters.
But the coup attempt crumbled as Erdogan rushed back to Istanbul from a Mediterranean holiday and urged people to take to the streets to support his government against plotters he accused of trying to kill him.
It seems that the coup may be doomed for failure.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkish national intelligence spokesman says coup attempt has been 'repelled"
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) July 15, 2016
And a Pentagon official believes it is likely to fail.
The Pentagon thinks the coup was attempted by a fairly small faction of the army, and was amateurishly executed, a senior U.S. military official told The Daily Beast. They expect it will be suppressed fairly quickly, but concede there’s still a lot that’s unknown about the mutineers. The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak about the incident publicly.
Most of the major media outlets are now confirming that a military coup seems to be underway in the nation of Turkey.
There are reports of gunshots in the capital Ankara.
Gunfire was also heard outside Istanbul police HQ and tanks are said to be stationed outside Istanbul airport. All flights are cancelled.
CNN Turk reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “safe” but did not elaborate.
From the UK’s Telegraph:
In a statement, the Turkish military says the rule of law must remain the priority.
“The power in the country has been seized in its entirety,” said the military statement read on NTV television, without giving further details. The military’s website was not immediately accessible.
State TV TRT reportedly off the air.
BREAKING NEWS: THE TURKISH STATE TV IS NOW SHUT DOWN.
— Breaking News Feed (@pzf) July 15, 2016
There have been reports of armed clashes in the streets of Turkey’s major cities.
Soldiers with tanks in Ankara streets. F16s are flying around 1000 feet very close to buildings. pic.twitter.com/QoBtvPs246
— Ahmet S Yayla (@ahmetsyayla) July 15, 2016
Dorian Jones a British journalist based in Istanbul said:
“Tanks are seen in the streets. There are reports of clashes between the police and the army,” he told Sky News, adding there were also reports that police guarding the presidential palace had been disarmed.
“I have been speaking to various friends across the city, some are reporting that they are hearing gunfire in the streets.”
There have also been reports of the military disarming civilian police forces.
Breaking: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says a group within the military engaged in an attempted coup – @AP
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) July 15, 2016
Reports out of Turkey are still muddled though the US State Department is encouraging Americans in Turkey to shelter where they are and await further instructions. President Erdogan’s government still claims to be in control of the government, while the military says that it has taken full control. Stay tuned for further developments.