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Military attempt to seize power in Turkey

July 16, 1:27 UTC+3 ANKARA
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly safe
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© AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

ANKARA, July 16. /TASS/. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has announced there has been an attempt by the military to stage a coup in the country, the Haberturk TV channel reported on Saturday.

"Some people have taken illegal actions, violating the chain of command", he said on local television. According to him, the security forces have received an order "to do what is necessary".

"We are focusing on the possibility of an attempt (coup). There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command. Our people should know that we will not allow any activity that would harm democracy," he said.

"The government elected by the people remains in power. The government will leave only if the people want it", the Turkish prime minister said.

In turn, the Turkish military issued a statement, saying that its priority was the preservation of the rule of law and the seizure of power took place in order to save the democratic system and human rights protection. According to the statement, the country's foreign policy will remain unchanged. The full Turkish military statement reads: "Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and general security that was damaged". "All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue."

According to the TV channel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is safe. Haberturk reported that tanks arrived at the entrance to the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. Reuters reported, citing eyewitnesses, that the airport was closed.

Witnesses reported earlier there was shooting in Ankara and the two bridges across the Bosporus Strait in Istanbul were blocked.

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