Friday, July 15, 2016

Turkey army says it has seized power; PM says elected government still in charge

Turkey's military said on Friday it had seized power, but the prime minister said the attempted coup would be put down.

If successful, the overthrow of President Tayyip Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003, would be one of the biggest shifts in power in the Middle East in years, transforming one of the most important U.S. allies in the region.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the elected government remained in office. There was no immediate word from Erdogan. A source in his office said he was safe.

Airports were shut, access to Internet social media sites was cut off, and troops sealed off the two bridges over the Bosphorus in Istanbul, one of which was still lit up red, white and blue in solidarity with victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in France a day earlier.

TRT state television announced a countrywide curfew. An announcer read a statement on the orders of the military that accused the government of eroding the democratic and secular rule of law. The country would be run by a "peace council" that would ensure the safety of the population, the statement said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking jointly after talks in Moscow, both said they hoped bloodshed would be avoided.
Turkey, a NATO member with the second biggest military in the Western alliance, is one of the most important allies of the United States in the fight against Islamic State. - Read More

Turkey army says it has seized power; PM says elected government still in charge


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