Live From Turkey: Soldiers Everywhere; Possible Military Coup

Update 5:21 p.m. EST: The Turkish military has taken over state news channel TRT. The news presenter was obviously afraid when she suddenly came back on to read the official statement of the military.

Photo TRT Haber, the female presenter reads the military's statement Photo TRT Haber, the female presenter reads the military's statement

In the statement the military says that it staged the coup in order to protect Turkey's secular system, and ironically its democracy, against an autocratic government. That is: the government led by President Erdogan who was over the last few months planning a major takeover of his own by creating a so-called presidential rather than a parliamentary system.

The military has made it known we're not allowed to go outside. Tensions are rising fast, not only in Ankara and Istanbul where soldiers and tanks are patrolling the streets while fighter jets are flying overhead, but also in my city of Izmir (the country's third largest city).

Update 5:53 p.m. EST: The head of the ruling AK Party (Justice and Development Party) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to CNNTürk. He told Erdogan supporters to go out in the streets to resist the military coup.

The problem is, of course, that the military has announced a curfew. Another problem: the military has weapons. They're driving around in tanks. There's not much normal civilians can do about it when they're serious about this coup. And it very much seems like they are.

Having said that, looking at what's going on now, it's clear that there's only one way for the Erdogan government to survive this coup: to get the people to resist it even if they have to risk their own lives. That strategy is now playing out in Istanbul, where soldiers in tanks are surrounded by hundreds of AKP protesters, chanting "soldiers, go to your garrisons."

Update 6:00 p.m. EST: President Erdogan appeared in a video call on NTV. He said a "minority group" within the military is responsible for the coup and added that civilians should actively resist it. "We will not leave the ground to them," the (possibly disposed) president said. He then vowed to end the "occupation" and called on his civilian supporters to unite and protest at airports and squares.

Proof of life:

erdogan

 

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