Live: Erdogan looks to take back control as Turkish military launches coup attempt



Turkish President Recep Erdogan claimed his government was back in control of the country Saturday morning following an overnight coup attempt by members of the military, though the situation on the ground remains unclear.

Here are the main developments so far:

Soldiers took control of TRT state television late Friday night. A statement read by an announcer said the military had taken control of the country and that a curfew and martial law had been imposed.

Soldiers also blocked the two bridges over the Bosphorus in Istanbul and other parts of major cities, while access to social media in the country appeared to be shut down.

Gunfire and explosions were reported in Istanbul and Ankara. Witnesses said tanks surrounding the parliament building had opened fire, while a Turkish military commander said fighter jets had shot down a helicopter used by the coup plotters in the capital.

Istanbul’s Ataturk airport was shut down overnight but flights had resumed by Saturday morning.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan called the actions by the military “an attempt at an uprising by a minority within our armed forces” and called on citizens to take to the streets in protests.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and other senior officials said the elected government remained in office, blaming the coup on loyalists of US-based cleric and opposition figure Fethullah Gulen. His movement denied involvement.

International leaders, including those in the US and EU, voiced their support for Turkey’s government.

Erdogan returned to Istanbul early Saturday morning and was met by crowds of supporters as his plane touched down in Istanbul.

The Turkish president later declared the coup all but over. Turkish officials claimed that 130 soldiers had been arrested while Turkish TV broadcast images of soldiers surrendering in Istanbul. However, there were reports of continued disturbances in Ankara.