The prime minister of Turkey said on Friday night that factions of the military had attempted a coup. There were sharply conflicting statements about who was in control of the country, a NATO member and important United States ally, which has been convulsed by military takeovers at least three times over the past half-century.
“Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in comments broadcast on NTV, a private television channel. “The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so.”
Shortly after Mr. Yildirim spoke, the Turkish military issued a statement, according to the news agency DHA, claiming it had taken control of the country.
“Turkish armed forces seized the rule of the country completely with the aim of reinstalling the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to make rule of law pervade again, to re-establish the ruined public order,” the statement quoted by DHA said. “All the international agreements and promises are valid. We hope our good relations with all global countries goes on.”
The state-run Anadolu News Agency said hostages had been taken at military headquarters in Ankara, the capital, including the chief of staff.
Military forces shut two bridges over the Bosporus in Istanbul, and fighter jets were seen flying over Istanbul and Ankara. The main airport in Istanbul was reported to have halted flights.
The whereabouts of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
, the Islamist politician who has dominated politics in Turkey for many years and sought to establish a firm control over the military, was not immediately clear. He was not in the capital but there were conflicting accounts about whether he was in the country.
Ilnur Cevik, an aide to Mr. Erdogan, reached by telephone Friday night, said he would not discuss the president’s location because “these lines are being listened to.”
Mr. Cevik said he heard reports that clashes were underway in Ankara near headquarters of Turkey’s intelligence agency. “We’re not really sure what’s going on but there seems to be an uprising in the military.”
He added, “is it anywhere near being successful? I don’t think so. Right now, there is a lot of confusion.”
Speaking to local television, Mr. Yildirim said, “illegal acts of some people from among the military are the issue here. My citizens and my nation should know that any act that would harm democracy would not be allowed.”
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