Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said those responsible for what he described as an attempted coup in Turkey by a faction within the military would pay the highest price.
He says they would not be allowed to do anything to interrupt democracy. Turkey
“Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command,” Yildirim said in comments broadcast by private channel NTV.
“The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so.”
The Bosphorus and Fatih bridges were closed by the gendarmerie – a branch of the Turkish military dedicated to internal security – for traffic traveling from Asia to Europe, NTV television said. Traffic was still moving in the other direction.
Meanwhile, Turkish military aircraft were heard flying low over Ankara, AFP correspondents in the capital also reported. There was no immediate explanation for the cause of the incidents.
Gunshots were heard in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Friday, a Reuters witness said, as military jets and helicopters were seen flying overhead.
Reuters witnesses in Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city, also spotted helicopters overhead.
Tanks were seen at Istanbul airport. Military tanks are outside Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport tonight. It is not known yet who is responsible for this incident, the government or the coup participants.
Istanbul Ataturk Airport. pic.twitter.com/qffb7xAflh
— Gilgo (@agirecudi) July 15, 2016
Military jets over Istanbul
— Marina Lourenço (@lourenco_marina) July 15, 2016
— Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish) July 15, 2016
Tanks on the streets of Istanbul
İSTANBUL-BAYRAMPAŞA ŞUAN pic.twitter.com/AhjuOTA5Kl
— HZ. ENES (@devasabisey) July 15, 2016
Witness on the street
“Earlier today there were police everywhere. I thought that was normal but the two Turkish girls I was with told me it wasn’t normal. We were walking around the centre of Istanbul, at the Grand Bazaar there were police at every entrance and exit with lots of guns.
“A police helicopter was flying very low at sunset, it was about 8pm. It looked like it was searching for something. Later on, at about 10.30 I was in Karakoy, a bar area in the city centre and everyone started looking at their phones. A man who owns the bar told us that the army are taking over everything.
“Then we walked down towards the a quieter area by the sea. While we were walking, my friend said the army had closed brides across the Bosphorus. We could see army helicopters in the sky.
“We went inside a cafe and everyone was on their phones looking worried, texting. Lots of people were running to catch a ferry – because the bridges were shutting and people wanted to get home. Then policemen came out of the ferries on their walkie talkies, looking very alert.”