Military Says It Has Taken Over Turkey

Canada's foreign affairs minister is urging calm in Turkey amid reports of a coup attempt by that country's military.

President Barack Obama on Friday urged all sides in Turkey to support the democratically elected government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid a military takeover of the key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

TheNewsTribe's Turkey desk, while sighting Turkish media, reported that the soldiers involved in illegal coup attempt retreated from National Intelligence Service (MIT) headquarters after MIT forces fought against fire with fire.

An army group in Turkey says it has taken over the country, with soldiers at strategic points in Istanbul and jets flying low in the capital, Ankara.

Violence from Syria's multi-sided war has increasingly spilled across the Turkish border, with the government blaming militants of the Islamic State for a deadly attack last month on the main worldwide airport in Istanbul.

Turkey joined North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1952 and has maintained its membership in spite of past military coups and other institutional turmoil.

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

"We will overcome this", Erdogan said, speaking on a video call to a mobile phone held up to the camera by an announcer on the Turkish sister station of CNN.

The Turkish military claim of a takeover was read by an anchor on state broadcaster TRT.

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The U.S. State Department has confirmed gunfire in the capital and asked citizens to stay indoors. For a man who until now controlled most of the country's news media, he was reduced to communicating with CNN Turk, a television channel he considers to be an opponent, over Facetime. Erdogan said "I don't believe this coup attempt will be successful".

"We have no reason to think we've been fully blocked in #Turkey, but we suspect there is an intentional slowing of our traffic in country", the company said in a statement posted on its official public policy account. Yildirim didn't provide details, but said Turkey would never allow any "initiative that would interrupt democracy".

Turkish officials said Saturday morning the government had appeared to have repelled an attempted military coup following a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire across the capital that left at least 17 dead, according to state-run media.

More tips and resources for Americans in Turkey can be found on the USA embassy's website. The U.S. Air Force operates out of the Incirlik Air Base in south central Turkey. Turkish people are sharing images of tanks in city streets and low-flying military jets.

Bridges across the Bosphorus in Istanbul are closed and airport operations have been disrupted, including at Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

Turkey is a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and the United States hosts nuclear weapons there.

"Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command", Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in comments broadcast on Turkish television.

"The people have shown that they stand in solidarity with democracy and the elected government".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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