Friday night saw a coup attempt against elected President Tayyip Erdogan, who has been president since 2014 but also worked as prime minister since 2003.

A group of the Turkish military launched an attack against the government to seize the power de factoCurrent prime minister Binali Yildirim said that “The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so.”

Turkish soldiers stand guard at the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, 16 July 2016. Credit: Sedat Suna / EPA

Turkey is one of the members of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and one of the most significant military forces in the middle east. Turkey is also one of the most important allies of the U.S. in the region in the war against terrorism.

Erdogan’s whereabouts are unknown for the time being, but he is calling people to go to public squares and airports to refuse the coup.

Ibrahim Melih Gökçek, current mayor of Ankara also asked people to reject this coup on his Twitter account.

The Turkish military statement reads: “Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and general security that was damaged. Martial law has been imposed across the country.

It is also said that the Gulen movement is attempting the coup and that it violated the chain in command.

“I hope there will be stability and peace and continuity within Turkey,” Said John Kerry, secretary of state while visiting Moscow.

Fethullah Gülen is a preacher, cleric, former iman and a political figurehead of the Gulen Movement who lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S. It is said that this movement has million of followers, and it holds positions of power in Turkey’s police forces and judiciary system.

Gulen has criticized severely the current government on corruption scandals to which the government replied that the long-term agenda of the Gulen’s movement is to infiltrate the intelligence, security, and justice system in Turkey.

During the current Coup President, Erdogan addressed the people on CNN Turk via FaceTime. “There is no power higher than the power of the people.” He said.

While addressing the Turks, he also added that he believes the coup will be defeated soon and that the perpetrators will have a “strong response” he finally added that they would have to pay a “heavy price.”

President Erdogan was speaking from an unknown location.

Local television on Turkey showed footage of military vehicles blocking bridges over the Bosphorus in Istanbul; tanks were also deployed in Istanbul to seize local airports, meanwhile in the capital Ankara warplanes and helicopters were deployed and there were also gunshots.

Aaron Stein, a middle East expert at the Atlantic Council, declared that a coup in Turkey is a major issue for America due the importance this country has in the fight against the Islamic State. There are important American bases in Turkey used to perform bombing missions and also the country is an important country with the current problem of refugees fleeing from Syria.

Source: The Washington Post