This is a developing situation and we will be updating this article as events unfold.
After a violent and volatile night it appears that the Turkish government and President Erdogan are reclaiming power slowly but surely. A large faction of the military, but not the entire military, planned and conducted the attempted coup. This was a “Colonel’s Coup” as it is being called. Thousands of people took to the streets to fight the coup back after President Erdogan asked supporters to rally against the military soldiers conducting the coup.
The reason for the coup is, according to the large military faction is to restore democracy and human rights. More specifically they are trying to take the country back due to President Erdoğan accumulating too much power, many say “dictator level power” and drifting towards Islamism and eroding civil rights which has become a point of contention across Turkey. The military has conducted four coups in the past 50 years but the last decade has been quiet due to President Erdoğan having previously thrown hundreds of military commanders in prison while bringing like-minded military personnel into leadership.
In Turkey it’s important to understand that historically the military’s role has been to preserve and protect the nation’s founders’ original view and when government gets too far away from that and starts abusing its power the military has stepped in. However Erdogan has been replacing all leadership in the military over the past 10-15 years and eroding that responsibility. Many western leaders have identified Erdogan’s abuse of power and Islamization of the country as a major problem.
Right after the coup started President Erdogan, who was on vacation at the time, did an interview via FaceTime with CNN Turk television station and told his supporters to swarm the streets – and they did. The coup was seemingly not prepared for this.
[UPDATE: 7/16, 9:16PM EST] – Power to Turkey’s Incirik Air Base, which is used by the U.S. to launch airstrikes has had it’s power cut off. Between 1,500-3,000 military officers have been detained in Turkey following the attempted coup. Over 1,000 people injured
Here are images from the people fight back against the coup. It is assured that Erdogan will now consolidate his power even further and may even try to assume the title, “President For Life” and push Turkey even further to Islamization after letting 3 million migrants into the country and that number rising.
[UPDATE: 7/15, 11:58PM EST] – It appears that coup-supporting soldiers are starting to surrender and so far 336 people have been detained – that number keeps increasing. President Erdogan has called an emergency meeting for today for all lawmakers to attend to coordinate and determine next steps. Over 60 people have been killed.
[UPDATE: 11:24PM EST] – CNN is reporting that 42 people have been killed in Ankara, Turkey’s capital. Most of the dead are police who got into a firefight with a helicopter. President Erdogan spoke to state television in Istanbul and then addressed a large crowd. Below is a statement put out by the Turkish delegation to the EU. However misinformation has been put out purposefully and there no reports of the government regaining control of Ankara. All reporting at this early stage is tepid.
[UPDATE: 9:27PM EST] – President Erdogan is now speaking on Turkey state television, from Istanbul saying this attempted coup is reason to clean up the military. However, the coup leaders still seem most powerful Turkey’s capital, Ankara. There are limited reports from Ankara with most reports and media coming from Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.
Here is where the polling numbers lie:
[UPDATE: 9:04PM EST] – The AP is reporting that President Erdogan has landed in Istanbul since Ankara, the capital, seems to be where the coup is strongest.
Despite many reports from various news agencies, individuals, spokespeople, governments and more, there is no way to tell if the coup has been or will be failed or successful. It is simply too early to tell. Misinformation is purposefully being circulated to confuse or sway the people of Turkey and the world. It will be hours until the world knows more. A lot depends on how much staying power the coup has, if the Erdogan supporters stay in the streets all night, just how many protestors there are, and more. Media outlets were showing thousands of people in the streets in Istanbul but there were very few cameras and what about the rest of the country? Many questions to be answered still. We will keep updating as we learn more.
[UPDATE: 8:04PM EST] – Obama has urged everyone in Turkey to support President Erdogan. In a statement he issued after meeting with his national security advisors he also urged everyone to avoid violence.
Sources affiliated with Turkey tell American Military News that the feeling within “many” of the Turkish military is that they view it as part of their oath to assume power to “prevent the dictatorship and islamization of the nation.”
There are reports of social media being shut down.
[UPDATE: 6:54PM EST] – It is now nearly 2:00AM local time in Turkey. Many reports of thousands of Turkish citizens flooding the streets and trying to push back the military. Gunshots fired around the country. This could get bloody if the military coup is to succeed. There are also unconfirmed reports that Erdogan is trying to seek asylum outside of Turkey.
[UPDATE: 6:40PM EST]
The U.S. State Dept. has released the following statement.
U.S. Embassy Ankara informs U.S. citizens that shots fired and explosions have been hears in Ankara and both bridges in Istanbul, the Bosphorous and Faith Sultan Mehmet, are now closed. Martial law and a curfew have been imposed in Turkey. All flights at Ataturk Istanbul Airport have been suspended.
We urge U.S. citizens to contact family and friends to let them know you are safe. We have seen reports that social media is blocked but you can contact friends and family by email, telephone or SMS. We encourage U.S. citizens to shelter in place and do not go to the U.S. Embassy or Consulates at this time. Monitor local press for updates, avoid areas of conflict and exercise caution if you are in the vicinity of any military or security forces.
[UPDATE: 6:20PM EST] – EU sources are saying that this is not just a few colonels but a substantial, coordinated and sophisticated attempted coup. A source talking to Reuters said the below:
A coup attempt in Turkey involves a substantial part of the military and “not just a few colonels”
“It looks like a relatively well orchestrated coup by a substantial body of the military, not just a few colonels,”
“They’ve got control of the airports and are expecting control over the TV station imminently,” [They now have control of the TV stations]
“They control several strategic points in Istanbul. Given the scale of the operation, it is difficult to imagine they will stop short of prevailing,” the source said.
Another European diplomat said he was attending a dinner with the Turkish ambassador in a European capital when they were interrupted by messages on their mobile phones.
“This is clearly not some tinpot little coup. The Turkish ambassador was clearly shocked and is taking it very seriously,” the diplomat told Reuters as the dinner party broke up.
[UPDATE: 6:00PM EST] – Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressed the nation amid a military coup this evening using his mobile phone, doing a FaceTime interview with CNN Turk, blaming the Gulenist movement for the attempted coup.
“We will overcome this,” Mr Erdogan said, speaking by mobile phone, asking for people to defend the government by taking to the streets.
“Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in a broadcast on NTV, a private television channel. “The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so.”
However, the Turkish military said in a statement that they had “taken over” power for “democratic order.”
A statement from the army, the Turkish Armed Forces; the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms and plant supplied again; The judge again made the rule of law in the country; the re-establishment of the deteriorating public security order; purpose of the administration of the country was completely confiscated.