Coup attempt ‘greatest insult’ towards Turkish Republic: PM

ANKARA (AA) – The illegal action outside the chain of command in an attempted coup in Turkey on Friday is “the greatest insult towards the [Turkish] Republic, the people and the soldiers,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

“Today is the time to protect [our] democracy, country and people,” Yildirim told private broadcaster NTV. “Those who [attack] our institutions with warplanes are like members of this terrorist organization,” Yildirim said.

“No one should be worried, we are at the helm of our duty. The people brought us here and only the people can take us away,” he added.

Turks have apparently responded by pouring into the streets across the country.

First Army commander Umit Dundar has said that the coup-plotters represent a small minority in First Army command.

“There is nothing to worry about. We are taking necessary measures with the soldiers who have not joined them and are still acting within the chain of command.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there had not been any attempt against him and the Turkish presidency said the president is at a secure location.

Erdogan identified the group as belonging to the FETO/PDY terrorist organization, which three years ago staged an unsuccessful overthrow of the government.

The leader of opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli phoned the prime minister to express solidarity, calling the coup attempt “unacceptable”, the prime ministry sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said: “This country was wracked with coups. We do not want to go through the same troubles.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that he hopes for “stability, peace and continuity” in Turkey, noting that he had no idea what exactly has transpired in the country.

“I heard the reports that others have heard,” Kerry said while speaking in Moscow, adding: “I don’t have any details at this point”.

White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price issued a statement that said President Barack Obama was briefed by his National Security team about the events.

The State Department warned Americans in Turkey to “shelter in place & stay indoors” and update their families that they are safe.

“If in #Turkey:monitor local press for updates, avoid areas of conflict, & exercise caution if in vicinity of any military or security forces,” the agency tweeted.

“If attempting to leave #Turkey, confirm status of airport/airline/ground transportation before leaving your home,” it added.

*Anadolu Agency correspondent Kasim Ileri contributed to this report from Washington.