This evening, reports coming out of Turkey have shown that The Turkish Military, concerned with the policies implemented both domestically and abroad in recent years by the Turkish Islamist Government led by Turkey’s controversial President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have attempted to remove Mr Erdogan’s Government by force, via the means of a military coup.
Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim made no secret of the fact that a coup attempt had occurred this evening, however, what remains to be made certain at this point is whether the Army has taken control or not.
Bridges along the Bosphorus have been blocked by the Turkish military, and what will have proven to be tonight’s most shocking event for Turkey’s divisive President is the ‘hostage taking’, according to Turkish State TV channel of a high-ranking Turkish military general in Ankara by the anti-Erdogan elements of the military. The General was reported to be Hulusi Akar, Turkey’s highest ranking General.
One of Turkey’s most well-known airports, Istanbul Attaturk, has come under the control of Turkey’s military, and, subsequently, all flights from the airport have reportedly been cancelled, according to a Reuters witness who cited a pilot at the airport, this was after the Turkish military’s statements earlier on this evening claiming to have taken control of the government.
According to both The Telegraph and Sky News websites, Turkish military jets have been heard flying at low altitudes above the countries capital, Ankara, which is home to more than 4.5 million people.
This coup attempt has outlined the rift in Turkish society between Secular Turkish Muslims and the minority Christians alike who do not want to see strict Islamic Law being enshrined in legislation, and those who support Erdogan’s Neo-Ottoman vision which ultimately aims to ensure Turkey moves away from retaining its status as a country which operates under a Secular constitution.
Zia Wiese, a journalist operating in Turkey’s capital stated in her reports to the Telegraph that the atmosphere in Istanbul this evening was one of ‘palpable shock’.
At 10:40 GMT this evening, a Presidential Statement was released by Mr. Erdogan, where he stated:
“Turkey’s democratically elected president and government are in power. We will not tolerate attempts to undermine our democracy.
The illegal statement is being made by the Council for Peace in the Homeland — not the Turkish Armed Forces.
The President is in a secure location as per government protocol. A statement will be made shortly.
The President is Turkey’s commander in chief. The Turkish people, regardless of their political affiliation, will stand against this blatant attack against our democracy.
We welcome the commitment of opposition parties, which expressed their objections to the coup attempt, to democracy.”
It is understood that the Council for Peace in the Homeland are a group of Turkish Army officers who are attempting a coup, which, from analysing the events of this evening, has had a significant amount of co-ordination and planning and has also garnered support from more elements of the Turkish Military than would have previously been imagined.
The Anadolu News Agency, a Turkish news firm has confirmed that Council for Peace in the Homeland has taken control of Turkey’s State-Run TRT TV Channel.
The Anadolu News Agency confirmed that Turkish military helicopters opened fire on the Headquarters of the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT). Anadolu also stated that the Turkish Intelligence Service, loyal to Turkey’s Islamist President were ‘fighting fire with fire’.
Associated Press have reported that Turkey’s President is now at a ‘secure location’, this is according to the Turkish President’s Office.
The perceived significance of events this evening has increased since governments and their spokesmen around the world have reacted to the news of this coup in Turkey, of which we are still unclear to conclude whether or not it has indeed been a success.
Our recently appointed Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, made a brief statement on his Twitter Page where he commented: ” Very concerned by events unfolding in #Turkey. Our Embassy is monitoring the situation closely. Brits should follow FCO website for advice “.
In a desperate attempt to rally his most loyal of supporters amongst the Turkish public, he stated via a Facetime call from a secret location which was recorded live by CNN’s Turkish language channel “that Turkish people must gather in public squares to show their response to the military takeover”.
In another interesting development in Syrian Government controlled areas of the Syrian Arab Republic, there have been reports of celebratory gunfire in the capital Damascus, where many Syrians are critical of Turkey’s foreign policy under President Erdogan, who has made of it one of his hallmark foreign policies to arm Islamist rebels fighting against the Syrian Government.
For those interested in this story, the situation in Turkey should be monitored closely in the coming hours and days so as to gain a clearer image as to whether the coup has succeeded in ousting President Erdogan’s government.