A faction of Turkey military attempted to seize control of the country on Friday night, setting off a furious scramble for power and plunging the crucial NATO member and American ally into chaos in what already was one of the world’s most unstable regions.
A statement read on TV said a “peace council” now ran the country and there was a curfew and martial law.
It is unclear who the group is or its level of support, however, Erdogan has vowed to overcome what he called an uprising by a minority.
Also speaking, the country’s Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, announced that some senior soldiers engaged in a “coup attempt.”
Aljazeera quoted Mr. Yildirim as saying on Friday evening that the “perpetrators” will be contained, adding that some generals in the country’s military were involved in the attempted takeover.
Martial law was declared in Turkey, which has been convulsed by military takeovers at least three times in the past half-century.
President Erdogan, the Islamist president who has dominated politics for more than a decade and sought to exert greater control over the armed forces, was forced to use his iPhone’s FaceTime app from an undisclosed location to broadcast messages beseeching the public to resist the coup attempt, NYT reports.
“There is no power higher than the power of the people,” he said in a night of wild confusion and contradictory accounts of who was in control. “Let them do what they will at public squares and airports.”