Friday, July 15, 2016

BREAKING: Chaos in Istanbul and Ankara, Mobs in the Streets, Confrontations Between Military and Police

12:10 AM CST:

At least 60 people have died, but I'm certain the final numbers will be much higher. In addition to that obvious evil, the followup to this cannot be anything but very bad, as Erdogan uses the attempted coup to consolidate his authoritarian Islamist grip on the country. 

I'm ending the live updates for the night. Follow on Twitter at the various obvious hashtags.  

11:50 PM CST:

The coup appears to have failed, although there are at the least ongoing "mop up" operations and thus continuing violence. And it is unclear why Erdogan is not yet back in Ankara, among other things.

When and/or how does one side or another declare victory?

Already, many are suggesting that it was "false flag" operation or fake coup, somehow manufactured by Erdogan to consolidate power. There are many oddities. But how one fakes a military operation of this scale is unclear. 

11:30 PM CST:

Turkish soldiers surrender on Bosphorus bridge:

11:15 PM CST:

Gunfire amidst burnt out cars in Ankara. once again, everyone is smoking and taking pictures. People are staring at a dead body covered in a sheet.

10:45 PM CST:

Facebook Live from Istanbul now streaming an angry crowd standing amidst at least one body with blood on the sidewalk. It looks like it's on the Bosphorus bridge.

More dead bodies on bridge. This dead man appears to be that of a soldier.

10:00 PM CST:

Whoever may be in the ascendent, the coup is not "over" by any means. Facebook Live in Istanbul is now showing some sort of standoff outside of a building (it's the TRT TV station). Pro-Erdogan young-men are crouched behind a highway divider waiting for something to happen. There's a a voice booming over a loudspeaker. At least one soldier appears to be cowering inside. A military vehicle drives up and the crowd claps. A civilian or policeman appears to get out. Inside the gated area, a soldier is standing alone, seemingly unconcerned. But people are shouting at him and the shouts are getting more fierce. Now another soldier is coming out to warn or parlay with the crowd. Everyone is taking pictures with their phones. Surreal.   

8:30 PM CST:

Erdogan is currently speaking (from the Airport?). Says coup plotters committed treason and will "pay a heavy price," etc.

8:15 PM CST:

First picture of Erdogan at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.

Video of bomb going off in Parliament as people are speaking.

8:10 PM CST:

CNN Turk livestream shows a lone man in a pink shirt standing behind the anchor desk looking confused, as chanting or shouting is heard off camera. 

8:00 PM CST:

Some reports say Erdogan has landed at Istanbul Airport. There is another report that his plane took off again after an explosion.

7:45 PM CST:

Facebook livestream videos from Istanbul and Ankara show large pro-Erdogan crowds in the streets.

I just saw a mob "liberate" a tank, prying open the hatch and pulling out automatic weapons to distribute. I hope the crew got out earlier.

The crowds seem to be 95% young men.

Gunshots are audible in many of the live videos.

I saw a women limp to an ambulance (was she shot in the leg?) but most people seem to be walking around taking pictures with their phones looking unworried.

One TV station now appears to have been "liberated" with staff saying on live TV they were held hostage by coup supporters.

However, soldiers are about to shut down Turkish CNN.

There has been an apparent bomb attack on the Turkish Parliament, perhaps from a helicopter.    

Standoff at Taksim Square, Istanbul between soldiers and police/pro-Erdogan crowds. At one point the police seemed to be disarming the soldiers.

However, when a crowd tried to swarm a group of soldiers in their vehicle, the soldiers opened fire.

Military jets now buzzing the square in an attempt to disperse the crowds. The crowd thought they were bombing them. That's what it sounded like to me.

Unconfirmed reports that Erdogan's plane is about to land in Istanbul.

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