Factions of Turkey's military attempted a coup d'état on Friday evening to forcefully oust the democratically-elected government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with violent clashes taking place in Ankara and Istanbul.
Military tanks took control of key bridges in Istanbul, troops were marching through the streets, jets and helicopters were seen flying over Ankara and Istanbul's Ataturk airport was completely shutdown (flights resumed as of Saturday morning). The faction behind the coup released a statement to the media saying that a "peace council" was ruling the country, announcing a curfew and martial law.
While all the facts are still being revealed, here are 6 things you should know about the attempted coup.
1. The attempted coup has failed
Gen. Umit Dundar, Turkey's acting military chief of staff, pronounced the coup a failure during a press conference on Saturday morning. The 1st army general was appointed to the position earlier this morning, according to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. The official Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar was reportedly taken hostage by rebel groups.
President Erdogan has also insisted that he remains in charge of the country, despite previous contrary claims credited to the military.
2. More than 100 people have been killed and more than 1,400 have been injured
According to The Guardian, many of these casualties were civilians. However, 104 of the casualties were individuals involved with the coup, according to Erdogan . Turkey's prime minister has announced the death toll to be 161, while some media are reporting 194.
There were reports of bombings in Ankara and Marmaris. Gun fights took place in the streets of Istanbul and Ankara.
3. Thousands of military members have been arrested
These include five generals and 29 colonels. Rear Admiral Nejat Atilla Demirhan and General Memduh Hakbilen, chief of staff of Turkey’s command for the Aegean region, are reportedly among those arrested. President Erdogan said in a statement that the coup presented an opportunity to "clean out" the the military, according to The Guardian.
Turkey's prime minister has said 2,839 members of the army have been detained so far.
4. President Erdogan accused exiled political opponent cleric Fethullah Gülen of involvement with the coup
However, Gülen, who resides in the United States, quickly released a statement distancing himself from the coup.
"I condemn, in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey. Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force.
As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations," he said.
Gülen leads the popular movement Hizmet, which has been estimated to be supported by some 10 percent of Turks. Gülenists have been behind significant corruption allegations against many individuals close to President Erdogan. In response, Erdogan has cracked down on the movement, removing prominent military officers, police officers and those in the media perceived to support Gülen.
5. This isn't Turkey's first coup
Turkey previously experienced successful coups in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997. Some also say a coup orchestrated by the military took place in 1993 due to a significant number of suspicious deaths that year, including the president, leading military figures and prominent journalists.
In 1960 and 1980, the military took power through the use of force. In 1971 and 1997, the coups were carried out through a memorandum issued by the Turkish military.
The nation's constitution actually grants the military the authority to "step in" when needed, with military leaders operating independent of politics, according to Time .
6. Erdogan has held power since 2003
Erdogan became Turkey's prime minister in 2003 and held the position until 2014, when he became president. While Erdogan was initially hailed for improving the country's economy, he has also been accused of leading the country away from its secular system. Additionally, numerous top officials close to Erdogan have faced significant corruption allegations. His government has also become infamous for cracking down on dissident media and blocking social media during times of political unrest.
While Erdogan has maintained popular support throughout Turkey, his efforts to consolidate power into presidential hands, recent attacks in the country, his government's support of rebel groups in Syria and policies that are believed to be isolating Turkey internationally have led many to criticize his rule.