In a strange scene, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his iPhone to deliver his first statement to his people through the FaceTime app. He called a reporter for CNN Turk, CNN’s sister station in Turkey.
Erdogan’s location was unknown, but he was calling from his vacation spot. CNN, citing sources, reports that Erdogan landed in Istanbul. “Go to the streets and give them their answer,” Erdogan told citizens. He then said he would be at a square in Ankara, the country’s capital.
Erdogan also claimed that the coup was organized by someone “outside the chain of command” within the military.
“Those who are responsible, we will give them the necessary punishment,” Erdogan vowed.
After he announced that the government was in control early Saturday and again vowed to punish those responsible. He had blamed Fetullaah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania, for inspiring the coup.
“My dear brothers, sister, these parallel gang members are now in the hands of the esteemed Turkish justice and they will be punished in every way they deserve through this process,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, reports CNN. “Our nation in this incident has shown a great resilience.”
The military coup was a surprise. Turkey is a member of NATO, an important U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS and there is a U.S. military base there. Turkey also has the second-largest military in NATO.
The move comes just two months after Binali Yildirim became prime minister. Erdogan has been moving towards taking more power, even though the presidency is supposed to be a ceremonial office. The military has been against this and Erdogan’s efforts towards making the government more Islamist.