Ankara - The Turkish military on Friday said that
it had launched a coup, in what the prime minister termed an illegal
act aimed at usurping the authorities.
Soldiers were seen on the
streets in Istanbul and Ankara as jets flew low overhead, while ordinary
citizens rushed for the safety of their homes after witnessing the coup
"The power in the country has been seized in its entirety," said a military statement quoted by Turkish media.
said the move had been made "in order to ensure and restore
constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms and let the
supremacy law in the country prevail, to restore order which was
"All our international agreements and commitments
retain their validity. We hope our good relations will continue with all
countries in the world."
Television pictures showed tanks
deployed outside Atatürk Airport in Istanbul. Reports said that flights
into the airport had been halted.
AFP correspondents said that
Istanbul had been turned into a ghost town after the events, with people
who had been outside for a Friday night rushing to the safety of their
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Friday denounced what he said was an "illegal attempt" by elements in the military.
are working on the possibility of an attempt. We will not allow this
attempt," he told NTV television by telephone, without expanding on the
nature of the move but saying it was by a group in the Turkish military.
"Those who are in this illegal act will pay the highest price,"
he added, saying it would not be correct to describe the move as a
Turkey has a history of coups with governments ousted on three occasions in the last decades by full military coups.
analysts had usually assumed that the ruling Justice and Development
Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had good relations with