Turkish troops have launched a military coup and have announced that they have taken over the elected government of President Recep Erdogan. The government claims that their coup is a bid to rid the country of an Islamist and conservative government and defend the nation's democracy that the military believes is at risk.
Turkish military has now enacted martial law as they continue to attack the nation's capital in Ankara in an attempt to overthrow Erdogan's government. Additionally, Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge — which connect Turkey to Bulgaria and the European continent — have been blocked by members of the military coup.
Erdogan, who is reportedly on holiday and not present in the nation's capital, used FaceTime to speak to a journalist on a privately run TV station to stress that he was still in control and warned those taking part in the coup, which he called a mutiny, that there would be retaliation.
He also urged the Turkish population to take to the streets in protest of the military overthrow. While military coups have occurred in Turkey in the past, they have always been swift and generally peaceful. The mass protests taking place in the streets possibly signify a departure from that peace.
Troops involved in the coup have rounded up police loyal to the government while gunfire, flying attack jets and military vehicles have been reported in Ankara.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim has also denounced the attempted coup, saying Turkey would never involve itself in an "initiative that would interrupt democracy." He further said, "We are focusing on the possibility of an attempt." Adding, "There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command. Our people should know that we will not allow any activity that would harm democracy."
There is no telling what kind of Turkey the world will wake up to on Saturday morning, but what ever state the nation is in, it will have a direct impact on the United States, the western world and their attempt to continue the battle against ISIS in neighboring Syria.
(Photo: Burak Kara/Getty Images)