9:31 P.M.: It seems the coup is failing. Per the Associated Press:
Private NTV television is showing footage of large crowds gathering at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport to greet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he emerged from a vehicle upon landing.
Meanwhile in Istanbul, an official at the president’s office says more than 50 military officers have been arrested in Istanbul and large crowds have carried out multiple citizen arrests.
Turkish TV channels are broadcasting scenes of soldiers being escorted away by policemen.
8:59 P.M.: The live feed of CNN Turk is utterly surreal. Make sure to turn on audio:
5:35 P.M.: Meanwhile, Erdogan remains defiant:
Turkish TV broadcasts a message from Erdogan claiming he's in control and will punish the coup leaders pic.twitter.com/8grmFarUfl
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) July 15, 2016
One has to imagine that FaceTime is not the most effective way to project power.
5:32 P.M.: Wow. President Erdogan is reportedly seeking asylum in Germany, per Kyle Griffin of MSNBC:
5:18 P.M.: It seems that the military has taken over state-run TV channel TRT, and is issuing statements through the network. From the Telegraph:
Reports that soldiers are at the HQ of state TV channel, TRT, in Ankara.
That would explain this:
State TV channel says the country is now under the control of a ‘peace council’ that will ensure the safety of the population.
It states that democratic and secular rule of law has been eroded by the Erdogan government.
5:15 P.M.: This video allegedly depicts a military helicopter firing down at an unknown target in Ankara:
Helikopterden ateş açılmasına dair paylaşılan görüntünün Ankara'dan olduğu iddia ediliyor. pic.twitter.com/3tHm6hMsgV
— 140journos (@140journos) July 15, 2016
5:06 P.M.: There are tanks in the streets of Istanbul. A jarring sight:
— Abdulla Hawez (@abdullahawez) July 15, 2016
5:02 P.M.: Turkey’s armed forces have released a statement.
Report: Turkish military releases statement, saying armed forces have 'fully seized control' of the country.
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 15, 2016
4:59 P.M.: Reports are swirling that a military coup is taking place in Turkey. From Jim Geraghty’s post:
There are reports that a military coup is underway in Turkey: Military vehicles are in the streets, the bridges of Istanbul are shut down, and state television just stopped broadcasting.
If you’re concerned about the Islamist drift in Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his allies, a military takeover looks pretty appealing right now! Military coups are almost regularly scheduled in Turkey; the country had coups in 1960, 1971, 1980, and a near-coup in 1997. It’s a regular habit in Turkish politics; an elected leader accumulates too much power and drifts away from the secular, statist, Western-oriented philosophies and traditions of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and the military intervenes. His final remarks to the Turkish military gave them the duty of protecting the country from enemies foreign and domestic (I’m paraphrasing) and the Turkish military has not hesitated to include elected politicians among those enemies. Quite a few times in the past decade, foreign correspondents and Turkey-watchers have wondered if a coup was imminent. It wasn’t . . . until, perhaps, tonight.
Stay tuned to the Corner for updates as more information becomes available.