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Turkey PM Says Army Group Engaged in ‘Coup Attempt’

Turkey1Turkey’s military has officially declared a coup and said that it has “taken control of the country,” shutting down major bridges and Istanbul’s main airport.

The Dogan agency quoted the military on Friday as saying, that it wants “to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated.”

Turkey_coupThe military statement went on to say that “all international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue.”

Earlier, in a television address, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that a number of generals are involved in the takeover of the government.

He vowed that the “perpetrators” will be contained, adding that the government “will never give up democracy.”

Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport has been shut down, and all flights have been cancelled.

Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge have also been shut down by the Turkish army, local television channels reported, without giving a reason.

The two major bridges connect the Asian side of Istanbul to the European side.

Dogan News Agency footage showed cars and buses being diverted, according to Reuters.

Reuters witnesses in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, also spotted helicopters overhead.

“It seems there is dissent in the military ranks,” said Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Gaziantep.

In the capital Ankara, gunshots were heard, as military jets and helicopters were seen flying overhead, a Reuters witness said.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said Obama’s “national security team has apprised him of the unfolding situation in Turkey,” and he will continue to receive regular updates.

The U.S. State Department urged Americans in Turkey to remain vigilant, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying he hopes for stability, peace and continuity in Turkey.
(source: aljazeera, VOA, Dogan, Reuters)

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