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Saturday, 16 July 2016


Forces loyal to the Turkish government fought on Saturday to crush the remnants of a military coup attempt which crumbled after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.

More than 90 people were killed in violence that erupted late on Friday after a faction of the armed forces attempted to seize power using tanks and attack helicopters, some strafing the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in Ankara, others seizing a major bridge in Istanbul.

Here is how the events have unfolded in the attempted military coup in Turkey.

7.20pm  - Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge are both closed. Dogan News Agency footage shows cars and buses being diverted.

7.50pm - Gunshots are heard in Ankara, military jets and helicopters seen flying overhead. Helicopters seen overhead in Istanbul.

8.02pm - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says attempted coup under way, calls for calm. He says a group within Turkey's military has attempted to overthrow the government and security forces have been called in to "do what is necessary".

8.25pm - Turkish military says has taken power to protect democratic order. In a statement sent by email and reported on Turkish TV channels, the military says all of Turkey's existing foreign relations will be maintained.

8.38pm - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is safe, reports CNN TURK.

8.49pm - Turkish presidential source says statement made on behalf of armed forces was not authorised by military command.

8.57pm - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media restricted in Turkey, say internet monitoring groups.

8.58pm  - Soldiers are inside buildings of Turkish state broadcaster TRT in Ankara, TRT correspondent tells Reuters.

9.05pm - Turkish state broadcaster says reading statement on the orders of the military - that new constitution will be prepared, accuses government of eroding democratic and secular rule of law, that the country is being run by a "peace council", that martial law imposed, curfew imposed across the country.

9.18pm  - Presidential source says president and government are still in power - but Mr Erdogan's whereabouts are unclear.

9.26pm - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan urges people to take to the streets to protest against what he describes as a coup attempt by a minority faction within the military. Speaking to a CNN Turk reporter via Facetime he says it will meet a "necessary response". He says he is returning to the capital Ankara.

9.35pm - Turkish state broadcaster TRT goes off air, but later starts broadcasting from London.

9.51pm - A military helicopter opens fire over the Turkish capital Ankara, witnesses report an explosion in the capital.

10.03pm - Turkish justice minister says members of a movement loyal to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen in the army are behind the attempted coup.

10.08pm - Tanks surround Turkish parliament building, open fire. Gunfire heard at Istanbul airport.

10.26pm - Two loud explosions heard in centre of Turkish capital

10.37pm  - Commander of Turkey's First Army, part of land forces responsible for Istanbul and other western areas, said those attempting a coup were a small faction and "nothing to worry about".

10.47pm - PM says gangs and illegal formations are behind coup attempt, and calls it a terrorist act. He says government remains in charge. Urges people to take to the streets.

11.04pm - State-run Anadolu Agency says 17 police killed at Ankara special forces HQ; no independent confirmation

11.05pm - President Barack Obama says he and Secretary of State John Kerry agree that all parties in Turkey should support elected government. Urges restraint, avoidance of bloodshed - White House statement.

11.13pm - Group close to US-based cleric Mr Gulen says accusations it was involved in coup attempt are "highly irresponsible". 

11.39pm - Bomb hits parliament in Ankara, state-run Anadolu Agency says. Reuters witness hears blast in Istanbul.

11.52pm - Turkish PM says situation under control, blames the Gulen movement, declares no-fly zone over Ankara. A U.S.-based organisation close to Gulen earlier denied involvement.

0.20am - Turkish official says Mr Erdogan's plane lands in Istanbul.

0.27am - Two more explosions hit parliament; member of parliament reached by telephone says lawmakers are hiding in shelters at the parliament.

0.45am - Turkish private broadcaster CNN Turk halts live news broadcast, presenter says soldiers entered studio control room.

0.45am - Around 30 soldiers, part of faction attempting to carry out a military coup, surrender weapons after being surrounded by armed police in Istanbul's central Taksim Square.

1am - Mr Erdogan appears among supporters at Istanbul airport, says uprising has been attempted against solidarity and unity of country; says no power is above national will.

2.05am - Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency says that 17 police officers have been killed in a helicopter attack on police special forces headquarters on the outskirts of Ankara.

2.15am  - The leaders of Greece's armed forces and police are holding emergency meetings in Athens to monitor developments in neighboring Turkey, according to government officials.

2.25am - The military has taken position at the base of the Taksim monument at Taksim Square in Istanbul, occasionally firing into the air to disperse a growing crowd of government supporters.

2.35am - NATO's chief has called for "full respect" for Turkey's democratic institutions and constitution.

3.20am -  A top Turkish official says the coup attempt within the country's military appears to have been unsuccessful.

4am - The state-run Anadolu Agency, citing unnamed military sources, says the leader of the attempted coup is Colonel Muharrem Kose.

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