Turks across the country took to the streets Friday night, answering pleas to confront the Turkish military as it attempted to take power in a coup.
“I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports,” a flustered President Recep Tayyip Erdogan implored during a live broadcast via FaceTime on CNN Turk, after the military declared in a televised statement that it had seized control of the nation. “There is no power higher than the power of the people.”
The military’s short-lived claim to power ― based on concerns over autocratic rule and terrorism ― has sparked nationwide panic and chaos.
“Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in response. “The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so.”
A presidential source denounced the military’s attempted takeover as an “attack against Turkish democracy.”
Tanks rolled through crowded streets in Istanbul and Ankara, and military aircraft buzzed overhead. Armed forces blocked off Istanbul’s two main bridges across the Bosphorus strait.
Take a look at these startling images from the country below: