Soldiers have started to pull back from the İstanbul Atatürk Airport and one colonel, along with three soldiers, have been detained by police, while people took to streets holding Turkish flags and confronting military tanks in what is considered to be a coup attempt by a small group within the army.
According to reports, the military coup attempt that shook Turkey on Friday night was organized by a dissident group of soldiers who were acting out of chain of command. The coup attempt reportedly took place in some provinces such as İstanbul, Ankara and Sakarya.
First Army Commander Gen. Ümit Dündar told the media that the rebel group was within the First Army and consisted of a little number of soldiers. Dündar said “There is nothing to be concerned about; we are taking necessary measures with the troops that do not take part [in the coup attempt] and act within the chain of command.” Dündar added that he has been cooperating with the İstanbul governor to solve the problem.
In the meantime, an İstanbul prosecutor has launched an investigation into those responsible for the coup attempt and ordered that military personnel involved in the incident will be put under arrest immediately after they are captured.
Groups of protesters climbed the tanks outside the General Staff building in Ankara and on İstanbul’s Vatan Street. In front of the Sakarya Governor’s Office, soldiers accompanied by a tank were forced to pull back after being confronted by people.
Other reports claimed that soldiers opened fire on protesters trying to march on İstanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge and that gunshots were heard outside the presidential palace. Meanwhile, a large group of people were seen marching towards the presidential palace in solidarity with the government.
A military helicopter reportedly fired upon the state broadcaster TRT’s building, and hit the security booth. The incident occurred after the TRT was shut down by the government following a statement being streamed, declaring a takeover by the military and imposing curfew.