Military Coup in Turkey 12
[Representational Image] On Friday evening, both the Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul were shut down in an attempt by the Turkish military to overthrow the government. Picture: People surround a Turkish army tank in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016.Reuters

On Friday evening, both the Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul were shut down in an attempt by the Turkish military to overthrow the government.

Gunshots were heard in Ankara, while military jets and helicopters were reportedly seen flying overhead in Istanbul. Explosions were heard in both the cities. Gunfire also broke out between the police and the military. Gunfire was also heard at the Istanbul airport. Two loud explosions were heard at the Taksim Square.

Turkish military said that they had taken power to protect the democratic order and that all of the country's existing foreign relations would remain the same, Reuters reported, citing a statement sent to Turkish TV channels.

Soldiers entered the buildings of several state media organisations in both Ankara and Istanbul thereby disrupting news broadcast for quite some time. They were back on air after Turkish police stormed into the building and arrested the military personnel who had taken over the premises.

Turkish state broadcaster TRT was forced to read a statement, which accused the government of eroding democratic and secular rule of law, while adding that a "peace council" was running the country. It also stated that a new constitution would be prepared and martial law and curfew would be imposed across the country.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the citizens to come out on the streets and protest against what he described as a coup attempt by a minority faction within the military. He addressed thousands of supporters outside Istanbul and said that an uprising was attempted against the solidarity and unity of Turkey and that no power was above national will.

"They have pointed the people's guns against the people. The president, whom 52 percent of the people brought to power, is in charge. This government brought to power by the people, is in charge. They won't succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything," he was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

The Parliament in Ankara was also attacked and surrounded by tanks. However, all members were reported to be safe and hiding in Parliament shelters.

Erdogan blamed U.S. based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, currently in exile, for the violence that hit the country on Friday. He was quoted by AP as saying that coup supporters "will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey."

However, groups close to Gulen said that the accusations were "highly irresponsible", while condemning military intervention in Turkish politics and showing concern for the safety of citizens.

Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim called for the "annihilation" of military planes that were being used by the "coup plotters".

Later, a fighter jet reportedly shot down a military helicopter in Ankara's Golbasi district. The helicopter was being used by the coup plotters to attack the country's satellite station Turksat, the AP reported citing Anadolu Agency.

Yildirim tweeted saying that all possible measures would be taken to foil the coup attempt, even if it means casualties. He added that sieges were going on at some important buildings. He requested people to remain patient and continue protesting on the streets.

At least 194 people died and over 1,100 people were injured. Over 1,500 military personnel were also arrested once the siege ended. Protestors came out on the streets in large numbers to show solidarity with the elected government.

Newly appointed Acting Chief of the General Staff General Umit Dundar was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the deceased included 41 police officers, two soldiers, 47 civilians and 104 people described as "coup plotters." Dozens of soldiers surrendered at the Bosphorus Bride and Taksim Square.

Around 104 putschists were killed in the coup while 200 soldiers at the Turkey military headquarters surrendered to the local police, AFP reported in a series of tweets.

Turkish PM later said that the situation was under control.

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