Jets and helicopters fly overhead in Turkish capital of Ankara, as military closes two major bridges in Istanbul.
ISTANBUL, ANKARA (Al Jazeera)—Turkey’s military has officially declared a coup and said that it has “taken control of the country,” shutting down major bridges and Istanbul’s main airport.
The Dogan agency quoted the military on Friday as saying, that it wants “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.”
Earlier, in a television address, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that a number of generals are involved in the takeover of the government.
He vowed that the “perpetrators” will be contained, adding that the government “will never give up democracy.”
Al Jazeera has learned that Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport has been shut down, and all flights have been cancelled.
An Al Jazeera reporter in Istanbul also reported seeing military officers arriving at Taksim Square, and ordering everyone to leave.
“They were evacuating the entire square,” our reported said. “People are going home now.”
Meanwhile, a TRT World reporter told Al Jazeera that soldiers have entered the TRT office and ordered them off the air and taken their phones.
‘Dissent in the military’
Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge have also been shut down by the Turkish army, local television channels reported, without giving a reason.
The two major bridges connect the Asian side of Istanbul to the European side.
Dogan News Agency footage showed cars and buses being diverted, according to Reuters.
Reuters witnesses in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, also spotted helicopters overhead.
“It seems there is dissent in the military ranks,” Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Gaziantep, said.
In the capital Ankara, gunshots were heard, as military jets and helicopters were seen flying overhead, a Reuters witness said.
Turkey has had a history of coup attempts, the last time being carried out in 1997, which forced the resignation of then-prime minister Nemettin Erbakan.