Turkish military in attempted coup, prime minister says

Turkey's military said on Friday it had seized power, but the prime minister said the attempted coup would be put down.

The Turkey Prime Minister also said: "Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command", Yildirim said in comments broadcast by private channel NTV. "We will not allow it. There will never be any compromise on democracy".

"Those who are responsible, we will give them the necessary punishment", Erdoğan said.

An announcer read a statement on the orders of the military that accused the government of eroding the democratic and secular rule of law.

The Armed Forces maintained that, "all global agreements and commitments will remain".

"We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey overall and to reconsider their need to travel to Istanbul and Ankara".

In response, Erdogan, speaking from an undisclosed location, surfaced via FaceTime on CNN Turk calling on the Turkish people to take to the public squares and go to the airport.

Police officers stand guard near the Turkish military headquarters in Ankara. If people think resistance is futile, even regime loyalists will just go with the flow.

The military claimed to have seized power from the government, but the government's National Intelligence Unit said the coup had failed.

The chaos capped a period of political turmoil in Turkey blamed on the increasingly authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has included a government shake up, a crackdown on dissidents and opposition media and renewed conflict in the mainly Kurdish areas of the southeast.

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But the statement attributed to the military later said the takeover had been successful. A nearby mosque made an anti-coup announcement over its loudspeakers.

Earlier, military jets were heard flying over the capital, Ankara.

He also said "This country can't be managed from Pennsylvania", directly linking the coup attempt to US-based exiled imam Fethullah Gulen.

For much of the night, fighter jets flew low over Istanbul while armored vehicles streamed across a main bridge in the city. In addition, media reports said ambulances were seen in front of the Turkey's military headquarters.

The state broadcaster TRT reported that a curfew had been declared across Turkey and that airports were closed.

The coup appears to have been led by a faction within the military. Explosions have been heard in the capital, with gunfire also erupting in both cities.

Kerry said he had stressed in a telephone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu the United States' "absolute support" for Turkey's democratically elected, civilian government and democratic institutions. It is unclear where the president now is.

The Dogan news agency says one-way traffic on the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges were blocked.

The TurkeyBlocks Twitter account was set up past year after the local government had blocked access to several social media services during public protests, and its sole goal is to let Turkish citizens and worldwide media agencies know what online services is the Turkish government now blocking. He will be viewed internationally as a weak leader and his grip on power so tenuous that it could suffer such a major coup attempt.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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