Turkish Military Establishes ‘Peace Council’ to Restore Freedom and Democracy; Prime Minister says Government is Fighting Back

CORRECTION - Turkish security officers detain unknown individuals on the side of the road on July 15, 2016 in Istanbul, during a security shutdown of the Bosphorus Bridge.  Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on July 15 denounced what he said was an "illegal attempt" by elements in the military after bridges were partially shut down in Istanbul and jets flew low over Ankara. "We are working on the possibility of an attempt. We will not allow this attempt," he told NTV television by telephone, without expanding on the nature of the move but saying it was by a group in the Turkish military.    / AFP / BULENT KILIC / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by BULENT KILIC has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [unknown individuals] instead of [police officers]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.        (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Turkish security officers detain unknown individuals on the side of the road on July 15, 2016 in Istanbul, during a security shutdown of the Bosphorus Bridge. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
The Turkish military claims to have seized control of the country amid reports of tanks and army jets in Istanbul and Ankara.

An announcer on Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT has read out a live statement, reportedly on the orders of the military, saying the country is now being run by a “peace council”.

It comes after the NTV broadcaster quoted the army as saying: “Power in the country has been seized in its entirety.”

The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has confirmed that military action is taking place, describing it as an illegal “attempt” by a faction of the army to seize power.

One news agency is reporting that a top general is among several people being “held hostage” at the military headquarters in Ankara.

It follows media reports that ambulances have been seen in front of the building.

NTV is showing footage of tanks at the entrance to Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.

It is reported that all flights have been cancelled in and out of the airport.

Military vehicles are said to be blocking two bridges in Istanbul, while military jets have been heard flying over the Turkish capital, Ankara.

“It looks like a relatively well orchestrated coup by a substantial body of the military, not just a few colonels,” an EU source told news agency Reuters.

“They control several strategic points in Istanbul. Given the scale of the operation, it is difficult to imagine they will stop short of prevailing,” the source said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is safe, according to a presidential source.

According to Turkish media, the military statement said it had taken action to: “reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated.”

The military statement went on to say that “all international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue.”

Mr Yildirim has called for calm, saying security forces are doing what is necessary to resolve the situation.

He warned that those responsible for this “illegal attempt ” will pay the “highest price.”

SOURCE: Sky News