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Turkish Armed Forces Seize Power… Erdogan: The Coup Will Fail | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People stand on a Turkish army tank at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir

Ankara-Turkish Armed Forces announced taking over the administration, imposing martial laws and suspending the constitution, in an attempt to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. However, the president, who urged people to take to the streets, said that the coup will fail.

Turkey’s army spread its forces and tanks around vital facilities in the state; it also took control of airports and strategic points in Istanbul including Atatürk Airport. Both Bosphorus Bridges were blocked as well. Turkey’s army spokesman declared suspending the Constitution claiming the current government has harmed the democratic and secular system.

Erdogan showed resistance as he appeared via Skype and said: “A small group in the army is responsible for the coup attempt, led by Fathullah Gulen supporters.”

In his first statement following the coup he stressed that the perpetrators of the coup attempt will pay high prices and urged people to take to the streets to defy the coup, emphasizing that all required measures will be taken to foil it.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said: “There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command.”

He added that a group within the country’s military has attempted to overthrow the government and security forces have been called in to “do what is necessary.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Turkey to avoid all “bloodshed” and insisted that the problems in the country be resolved “in accordance with the constitution.”

For his part, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a similar stance, knowing that President Barack Obama expressed earlier concern about the repression used by Erdogan’s government. Obama insisted however that turkey is a key NATO ally.

Moreover, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged “restraint” in Turkey.

“In constant contact with EU Delegation in Ankara & Brussels from Mongolia. Call for restraint and respect for democratic institutions #Turkey,” she tweeted from a regional summit in Ulan Bator.