Yesterday night at around 10PM, a military coup attempt began in Turkey. Here are some facts:
The coup wasn’t led by the head of the military Hulusi Akar, who was actually held in custody by those orchestrating the coup, but by a smaller faction within the army.
Among other locations, tanks took their positions around government buildings in Ankara, the state TV broadcaster TRT, the Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports in Istanbul, and the two bridges connecting the European and Asian sides of the city.
Since the coup attempt began at 10PM, most people hadn’t gone to bed, and were able to follow the proceedings live on TV and social media throughout the evening.
Around 11PM, an announcement was made over TRT that the country was under martial law.
The orchestrators of the coup hadn’t captured any of the government officials they were looking to overthrow prior to announcing the coup, and they didn’t capture any of them during the coup attempt.
With the exception of the state TV broadcaster TRT and the CNN Turk channel, the orchestrators of the coup let the country’s other main TV channels continue to broadcast freely.
Around midnight, President Erdogan delivered a video message over what looked like FaceTime which was aired on Turkey’s TV channels with the exception of TRT. He called for the Turkish people to not obey the martial law announcement, leave their homes, and protest at Istanbul and Ankara’s main hubs where those conducting the military coup were located. Indeed, TV channels soon began to show many people taking to the streets and, together with the police who took the other side of the coup attempt, successfully taking those military personnel attempting the coup into custody.
It’s 9AM the next morning as I write this. News reports suggest that the head of the military Hulusi Akar has been freed, the members of the army attempting the coup have been taken into custody, and the streets are being emptied of the tanks.
Fortunately, it seems like the attempted coup failed.
Note: The original version of this post was updated to reflect the fact that the orchestrators of the coup also cut off the broadcasting of the CNN Turk TV channel.
Also published on Medium.