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Official: Turkey military coup appears to have been unsuccessful

Turkish soldiers secure the area as supporters of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan protest in Istanbul's Taksim square, early Saturday, July 16, 2016. Turkey's prime minister says a group within Turkey's military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup. Binali Yildirim told NTV television: "it is correct that there was an attempt." (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

An attempted military coup in Turkey appears to have failed just hours after it began Friday, an official said.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said 161 people were killed and 1,440 wounded in the violence, and 2,839 plotters were detained.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Turkey to address the coup, and said that whoever was participating in it was committing “treason.”

Erdogan also said that his general secretary had been kidnapped by coup-makers.

Apparently Erdogan narrowly escaped disaster before boarding his flight to Turkey.

Yildirim told NTV television “it is correct that there was an attempt” and said Turkey would never allow any “initiative that would interrupt democracy.”

The Turkish military said in a statement obtained by BuzzFeed News that it had taken control of the country.

“Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and the general security that was damaged,” the statement announced. “All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue.”

CNN-Turk has quoted Defense Minister Fikri Isik as describing it as a “pirate statement.”

The European Union released a statement on the incident that said, “Turkey is a key partner for the European Union. The EU fully supports the democratically elected government, the institutions of the country and the rule of law. We call for a swift return to Turkey’s constitutional order. We continue to follow closely the developments and to coordinate with the 28 EU Member States.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed an Islamic-based group for the coup.

Erdogan remained defiant and called on people to take to the streets to show support for his embattled government. He was expected to land in Istanbul at some point on in the wee hours of Saturday morning local time.

“I’m making a call out to my people. … Let us gather in our squares, at our airports as the people and let that minority group come upon as with their tanks and artillery and do whatever they wish to do,” Erdogan said.

Some casualties were reported. The state-run Anadolu Agency said 17 police officers were killed in a helicopter attack on police special forces headquarters in outskirts of Ankara.

The Turkish parliament building in Ankara was reportedly hit by a bomb.

Bridges over the Bosphorous Strait that connect the European and Asian sides of Istanbul were closed. Several people who attempted to cross were shot.

A video showed what is believed to be a helicopter firing on a crowd or possibly a building.

Live news feeds showed military vehicles — including tanks — parked outside of Istanbul Ataturk Airport and what appeared to be travelers exiting the facility. Some reports claimed the airport was closed down.

The airport was the target of a terror attack just a few weeks ago.

Tanks were also seen driving down city streets.

Military jets were heard flying over the capital, Ankara.

Media reports said ambulances were seen in front of the Turkey’s military headquarters.

Access to social media was cut off for some people.

Turkey has had numerous military coups in its history.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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