In the face of an apparent coup from his army, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan struck a defiant note Friday night, vowing that the “coup plotters” trying to take over the country would not succeed and calling on his supporters to take to the streets.
“I certainly believe that coup plotters will not succeed,” Erdogan told CNN Turk television, speaking on FaceTime via cell phone in his first reaction to the move by the Turkish armed forces.
“I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports. I never believed in a power higher than the power of the people.”
Erdogan said he was still president and Turkey’s commander in chief, promising that plotters would pay a “very heavy price.” A presidential source said Erdogan was in a secure location as per government protocol.
“The power in the country has been seized in its entirety,” said a military statement read on NTV television Friday night. The military also said that the move was “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 state-run news agency said Friday night that Turkey’s top general was being “held hostage” at military HQ.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report