(ANTIMEDIA) Turkey — The government of Turkey is currently under siege amid a military coup. The Turkish government is claiming the coup has been unsuccessful, though military officials are claiming success. Statements from the military’s new ruling “Peace Council” suggest the reason behind the coup is Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “autocratic rule.” The Turkish government has recently been criticized for shifting in the direction of authoritarianism and hardline Islamism, waging crackdowns against press and dissidents.
“Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and the general security that was damaged. All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue.”
Top government officials are believed to be held hostage at government administrative locations. These developments are of great interest to the west, considering Turkey is a member of NATO and plays a key role in geopolitical affairs in the Middle East.
Watch the live coverage below [updates below video]:
UPDATE 1: Turkish access to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks has reportedly been interrupted.
UPDATE 2: According to POLITICO, Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday said he hopes “there will be stability and peace and continuity within Turkey” following reports of a potential military coup attempt.
UPDATE 3: Communicating via FaceTime, President Erdogan urged “the Turkish people to gather at public squares and airports. […] There is no power higher than the power of the people.”
UPDATE 7: Early photos and videos from the ground in Turkey.
UPDATE 8: Protesters have flooded the streets — though it’s unclear whether they are supporting President Erdogan or supporting the coup.
UPDATE 10: Flights into Turkey are being canceled amid reports of military takeover of major airports.
UPDATE 11: Unconfirmed reports of coup-backing military clashing with police. 17 police deaths reported but unconfirmed. Several coup-backers arrested by police.
UPDATE 12: Turkish state-run media reports that the Turkish parliament building has been bombed.
UPDATE 13: Turkish government claims to have regained control as rumors circulate that the coup attempt has failed.
UPDATE 14: President Erdogan has appeared in a television statement from the Istanbul airport saying the coup attempt has failed and the perpetrators will be punished severely.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
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Reports of Bosphoris bridges are being blocked by military
Bosphoris bridges are two suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, Turkey; thus connecting Europe and Asia.