SHAFAQNA – The Turkish army says it has taken power over the country and that the rule of law must remain a priority.
“The power in the country has been seized in its entirety,” said a military statement read on NTV television, without giving further details.
The statement added that the military aims to “reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms,” and “to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated.”
“All international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue,” the military statement added.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly safe and will make a televised statement soon.
The country’s state news agency reports that Turkey’s chief of military staff, Hulusi Akar, is being “held hostage” at the military headquarters.
A correspondent for Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT has told Reuters that soldiers are inside the broadcaster’s building.
Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said an “illegal attempt” by “a group” in the military was underway in the country and security forces were taking necessary measures to resolve the situation.
He said those involved in the coup attempt will “pay the highest price”.
Turkish broadcaster NTV is airing footage of tanks at the entrance to Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.
Gunfire can be heard across the Turkish capital of Ankara as military warplanes and helicopters are flying low over the city.
Helicopters have also been flying over Istanbul, the country’s biggest city, whose Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges are reported to have been closed by military forces.
Russia calls for avoiding bloodshed
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says bloodshed should be avoided in Turkey, and that the situation should be settled within a constitutional framework.