Heavy gunfire lasted through the night and into an unnerving dawn in Ankara, before shots died down gradually as the sun rose higher into a sky that had been filled with smoke clouds, military helicopters and fighter jets only hours earlier.
Scenes of mass causalities, civilians shot through their torsos lying in pools of blood, continued to pour through social media streams as residents of the capital city woke up to an uncertain fate following an apparently failed attempt to remove president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from office.
At around 10 pm local time, two fighter jets began circling Ankara, performing high-speed aerial acrobatics and flying disturbingly low over the metropolitan city of 4.6 million inhabitants, creating sonic shockwaves that set off car alarms and broke windows in the central the Kizilay and Cankaya districts.
Only when military tanks and vehicles occupied the city center did it become clear that a military coup was underway. Military personnel moved swiftly to disarm Turkish police officers, who tend to back Erdogan’s government, before occupying the TRT Turkish national television station to announce martial law and declare the coup a success.
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(Screengrab from CNN Turk of crowds gathering in response to Erdogan’s call for citizens to take to the streets.)