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BREAKING: Turkey Military Declares Takeover Of Country, Top Officials Held Hostage

“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 the general security that was damaged,” the military said in a statement.

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Credit: NBCNews

While Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan was holidaying on the coast, a military coup was launched to take control of the country. According to The Telegraph, Mr. Erdogan flew into Istanbul before dawn on Saturday and was shown on TV appearing among a crowd of supporters outside of the Ataturk Airport, one of the locations the coup hadn’t yet secured.

After a faction of the armed forces tried to seize power using tanks and attack helicopters, one hundred and sixty-one people were killed. Not only was the headquarters of the Turkish intelligence and parliament overtaken, a major bridge in Istanbul was seized.

By Saturday morning, 2,700 judges were suspended from duty and 2,839 people had been detained – from foot soldiers to senior officers, many of which made up “the backbone” of the rebellion.

Mr. Erdogan commented on the uprising:

“They will pay a heavy price for this. This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.”

While the tense situation seemed to have been resolved, that wasn’t the case at all. Reuters reports that moments ago, Turkey officially declared its government overthrown by the military.

First images of #TurkeyCoup

A video posted by RT (@rt) on

The following statement was issued by the military:

“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 the general security that was  damaged. All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue.”

Before the coup was successful, it was speculated that if Mr. Erdogan’s presidency was overthrown, another seismic shift would take place in the Middle East. It seems exactly this is about to happen.

At approximately midnight local time, a TRT anchor announced that the country was being run by a “Peace Council” that will ensure the safety of all 80 million citizens. Reportedly, tanks have been posted outside Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport and in other locations in the city.

Social media in the country has been blocked, and the state-owned TRT television has gone off the air.

Reuters relays:

“About half an hour after midnight local time on Saturday, Erdogan appeared on CNN Turk (via Skype), issuing a statement blaming “parallel state” for the coup, calling for people to take to the streets, and vowing “We will overcome this.””

While the leader of the rebellion is unknown, the military announced it was seizing power in the country “to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights.”

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