Tuesday 24 April 2018

President Erdogan urges Turks to take to the streets in support of government

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to media in the resort town of Marmaris, Turkey, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Kenan Gurbuz
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to media in the resort town of Marmaris, Turkey, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Kenan Gurbuz

Turkey's president has urged citizens to take to the streets in a show of support for the government after the military said it seized full control of the country.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to CNN-Turk through FaceTime, called the actions by the military "an attempt at an uprising by a minority within our armed forces".

The president's office refused to disclose Mr Erdogan's whereabouts, saying he was at a secure location.

Mr Erdogan said "I don't believe this coup attempt will be successful.

"There is absolutely no chain of command here. Right now the chain of command has been put on hold."

Loud explosions were heard in Turkey's capital Ankara and CNN-Turk reported an explosion at the state-run television building.

Turkey's state-run news agency said military helicopters had also attacked the headquarters of TURKSAT satellite station on the outskirts of Ankara and the Ankara police headquarters.

Dozen of tanks were seen moving towards 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.

The White House said President Barack Obama hads been briefed on developments in the key Nato ally.

The National Security Council said Mr Obama had been apprised the "unfolding situation" in Turkey and would continue to get regular updates.

US secretary of state John Kerry says he hoped for stability and continuity in Turkey following the reports.

Mr Kerry, in Moscow for talks with Russian officials on Syria, said 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.

Turkish news agency Dogan said soldiers had opened fired on people trying to cross Istanbul's Bosporus bridge in protest of the attempted coup, and some had been wounded.

Turkey's Istanbul-based first army commander said the soldiers involved in the attempted coup "represent a small group" and "there is no cause for concern", according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Umit Dundar told Anadolu that "we are working to solve the problem here. They represent a small group within the First Army Command. There is no cause for concern. We are taking the necessary precautions with (soldiers) who have not joined them and remain within the military chain of command."

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