Istanbul, Turkey – The Turkish military declared late Friday that it had taken over the country, triggering confusion and terror across the nation. A military statement read on TV said armed forces have seized power, citing concerns about rising autocratic rule and increasing terrorism. The statement said martial law would be imposed in the country. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had earlier announced that an attempted military uprising was ongoing during a broadcast on NTV television. Turkey would never allow any “initiative that would interrupt democracy,” he vowed.
Following the first reports of a coup, President Barack Obama was interviewed by The Washington Post. The President expressed his support for the Turkish government and harshly spoke against the “brutal attack on democracy.” “It would seem some believe democracy has no more place in today’s world,” Obama said. “I believe they are wrong. I believe democracy was never before in greater demand than today. We have terrorism, we have suicide bombers, we have hunger, we have wars, we have epidemics and we have many other problems. Let us not add democracy to the list.”
Asked to comment on the reported uprising in a country that has been a longstanding friend and ally of the United States, the president referred to it as “an anti-Islamic attempt to shatter the core of peace and stability on the border between Europe and Asia.” “I view this as an assault on the entire democratic world. The Turkish government does a fine job of keeping the peace in the region and holding back ISIS. They’ve also done quite a lot to alleviate some of the pain of Syrian refugees when the wave of migrations first started. They’ve been doing a good job under almost impossible circumstances,” he said.
“I consider Turkish President Erdogan a personal friend and I’m confident he will find a way to resolve the situation swiftly,” Obama added. “But it’s a very difficult situation, that much must be said.” Asked to elaborate, the president said, “Well, you’ve got the president of the country, who is Muslim. Then you’ve got the army, which is secular. It’s not like here in America, where we believe in God, whichever one it is.”
He continued, “Over there you kind of have to face the fact that you could get sent out any minute to fight an enemy you don’t hate or whom you just have no feelings for. Again, here we don’t do that sort of stuff. When have you ever seen us invade a country for no reason or under false pretenses? Never. So, I imagine it’s tough being a soldier in the Turkish army. Take the Russian airplane incident some time ago. It was a tricky situation and Erdogan eventually apologized for it. And he was the one who gave the order to shoot it down, not some colonel or general.”
“And then you have the fact that they’ve been having these suicide bombings lately. I guess the military personnel are just fed up with it. But still, that’s no reason to take matters into your own hands and interrupt the chain of command. I mean, it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows here either, but our soldiers would never do anything like that. That’s why what they did is equal to a domestic act of terrorism. That’s why what they did is an act of betrayal and an attack on every other democratic country around the world. You just don’t do that,” the President concluded.