(Update: This post has been updated to reflect new details emerging from Turkey.)
The BBC reports mass arrests of soldiers involved in an attempted coup in Turkey, as the nation’s president appears to have kept power following an attempted overthrow that initially claimed success but now has failed.
Reports indicated Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, flew to Istanbul after the attempted coup from an organized effort within the country’s military.
Amid news of a possible coup in Turkey, NonDoc staff reached out to acquaintances in the nation of 75 million people.
Three people replied. Two expressed suspicion that the coup could have been staged in a way that will ultimately afford Erdogan greater power, a view that has grown stronger after news of Saturday’s sweeping arrests.
One person sent NonDoc a video from Ankara where an aircraft fired into a neighborhood during the attempted coup.
Other videos of gunfire flooded the internet as well:
HUGE: Crazy footage shows helicopters firing a target on the ground in Ankara. pic.twitter.com/vtiZSkckzV
— Gilgo (@agirecudi) July 15, 2016
A tank also mauled a taxi cab:
— RT (@RT_com) July 15, 2016
NonDoc also received the following statement just before midnight Saturday in Turkey from a woman named Banu Adiyaman, who lives in Istanbul, the nation’s largest city:
At first, we were shocked to hear the news that two bridges linking the Asian and European parts of Istanbul were blocked by the gendarmerie with tanks and thought it was a threat of an ISIS attack. Later, it turned out to be a coup attempt, which shocked us even more.
The group attempting the coup is said to be out of military command channel and they have taken Chief of the General Staff in pledge.
In some streets, gunshots have been reported.
In the TV channel of the government, a military declaration has been announced and declared a state of siege and curfew.
Everything is like a big joke as the last time there was a coup in Turkey was in 1981 and no one expected such an attempt.
The president Erdogan has called the people to the streets and squares.
There is information contamination coming from everywhere.
Military helicopters and jets have been reported to fly over police departments and the national intelligence organ.
Some say that this coup was arranged jointly with CIA by a wing in the army close to Fethullah Gülen, the Turkish preacher, living in the USA.
Some say that this is a fake coup organized by the government to clear the way for Erdogan to an American style presidency to consolidate power in the country.
However, it seems too big an organization to be fake. But this does not hold back people from rushing to ATMs to draw money and markets to buy food.
It seems that tonight will be a long night till the morning.
Hope all will be well.
In a sign of the times, Erdogan gave an interview via FaceTime during the coup, as reported by Gizmodo.
“Erdogan was on a FaceTime today, literally Apple FaceTime,” said Doga Yildizci, a Turkish citizen who lives in Switzerland. “If a president of the country joins a live show on a FaceTime, there must be something wrong.”
Ersin Demirci, a Turkish American who lives in Oklahoma City, offered his thoughts as well:
I’ve been working on improving relations between the people of Turkey and the U.S. for years via many events. It saddens me to see this would happen in a country run by a democratically elected government. Events on the ground are moving quickly, and it would be irresponsible for me to speculate on them. Any type of military intervention should be condemned by all. I’m of course concerned about the safety and security of the Turkish Citizens and those in Turkey right now.
Two members of the Oklahoma City Thunder are also from Turkey: Enes Kanter and Ersan Ilyasova.
(Editor’s Note: Rosemary Meacham-Zittel and Josh McBee contributed to this post, which has been updated to add more perspective and correct a reference to one of the sources.)