Attempted military coup underway in Turkey, a key NATO ally

Supporters of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, protest in front of soldiers in Istanbul's Taksim square, early Saturday, July 16, 2016. Turkey's prime minister says a group within Turkey's military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup. | AP Photo/Emrah Gurel, St. George News

Updated 8:40 p.m. with statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LDS Church Spokesman Eric Hawkins said Friday evening that “all LDS missionaries in Turkey are safe and accounted for. We have no information that our members are involved in the conflict. We pray for their safety as these events unfold.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday urged all sides in Turkey to support the democratically elected government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid an attempted military takeover of the key NATO ally.

In a statement issued after a meeting with his national security advisers, Obama also urged everyone in Turkey to show restraint and avoid violence or bloodshed.

Turkish soldiers secure the area as supporters of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan protest in Istanbul's Taksim square, early Saturday, July 16, 2016. Turkey's prime minister says a group within Turkey's military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup. Binali Yildirim told NTV television: "it is correct that there was an attempt." (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Turkish soldiers secure the area as supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan protest in Istanbul’s Taksim square, early Saturday, July 16, 2016. | AP Photo/Emrah Gurel, St. George News

The state-run Anadolu Agency says a bomb has hit the Turkish parliament in Ankara.

CNN-Turk television reported some police officers and parliament workers were hurt in the bomb attack.

A resident living not far from the area told the AP he heard a massive explosion that shook buildings and saw a column of smoke but could not confirm if it was coming from parliament itself.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, also said fighter jets were flying low in the area.

Members of Turkey’s armed forces declared hours earlier that they had taken control of the country as explosions, gunfire and a reported air battle between loyalist forces and supporters of the coup erupted in Ankara, the capital.

Erdogan called on the Turkish people to flood the streets in a show of support for his embattled government.

Turkish broadcaster CNN-Turk says a group of soldiers have entered the headquarters of the Dogan Media group, which owns the television channel.

The newscaster did not provide details on the number of soldiers who entered the building, which is also home to Kanal D television, the Dogan news agency and the Hurriyet newspaper.

The newscaster said she was not sure how much longer the station would be able to broadcast news.

Obama discussed the developments by telephone with Secretary of State John Kerry, who was traveling in Moscow for separate meetings with senior Russian officials on Syria.

Map locates Ankara, Turkey where an attempted military coup took place. | Graphic provided by Associated Press, St. George News
Map locates Ankara, Turkey where an attempted military coup took place. | Graphic provided by Associated Press, St. George News

In a separate statement, Kerry said the U.S. viewed the “very fluid situation” in Turkey with the “gravest concern.”

Kerry said he had stressed in a telephone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu the United States’ “absolute support” for Turkey’s democratically elected, civilian government and democratic institutions. Kerry said he urged all parties to ensure the safety and well-being of diplomatic missions, personnel and civilians across Turkey.

Kerry also urged U.S. citizens in Turkey to stay indoors and to be in touch with family and friends.

Turkey plays a key role in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

NATO’s chief has called for “full respect” for Turkey’s democratic institutions and constitution.

“I have just spoken to the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement issued early Saturday. “I am following events in Turkey closely and with concern.”

In an expression of support for President Tayyip Erdogan and his government, Stoltenberg said: “I call for calm and restraint, and full respect for Turkey’s democratic institutions and its constitution.”

He added: “Turkey is a valued NATO Ally.”

Written by DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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6 Comments

  • Bob July 16, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I don’t understand how the Turks are an ally, seeing as they are a huge supporter of ISIS. It’s a proven fact that the Turks were buying stolen Syrian oil from ISIS. Seems you’d have no ISIS without support of Turks and a Turk border where flow of supplies and men are allowed to freely flow to the ISIS network. Maybe Henry can explain all this…

    • Henry July 17, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      Bob – you’ve got the gist of it. Before being elected Prime Minister in 2003, Erdogan said “Democracy is like a train; when you reach your destination, you get off.” He’s been doing exactly that for the last 10+ years. Erdogan purged the military and the government of opposition, while abusing his office to benefit himself and his cronies. After this failed coup, he’ll probably consolidate his power even more.

      The question is, how many of the roughly 50% of Turks who don’t support Erdogan will join the millions of other migrants already pushing into Germany, France, etc.? Turkey’s population is 75 million, compared to Germany’s 81 million and France’s 66 million, so we’re talking about A LOT of potential new migrants.

      • Bob July 17, 2016 at 2:50 pm

        yep, those crazy germans seem to have a thing for electing fanatical dictators that lead them to complete destruction. this time around it will be a fanatical leftist woman, and instead of the red army it will be an army of ferral muslims that they invited in. crazy thing, really.

        • Bob July 17, 2016 at 2:52 pm

          france will probably go that same direction unless they revolt against their tyrannical leftist politicians

          • Henry July 17, 2016 at 5:41 pm

            Germany would probably be the major destination. Turks have been migrating to Germany since the 1960s. 3.7% of the German population (almost 3 million) are ethnic Turks, so there would be political pressure within Germany to accept at least some of the Turks fleeing the Erdogan regime.

    • .... July 17, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Wow I am shocked beyond belief ! Bob made a comment and never blamed the Mormons for something. Absolutely amazing ! Way to go Bob ! You must of takenot your meds today !

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