Soldiers leave Turkish public broadcaster

Pro-coup forces surrender after spending most of the night inside the premises of the headquarters of the public broadcaster.

Photo by: (photo: Usman Aliyu Uba for TRT World)
Photo by: (photo: Usman Aliyu Uba for TRT World)

A view of army vehicles through the gate of the TRT World office. July 16, 2016.

The Turkish Public broadcaster TRT office remains under army occupation even as soldiers on the Bosphorous Bridge surrender after a faction of the forces attempted to overthrow the Turkish government. Earlier Friday night, the army occupied the broadcaster's premises and staff members were evacuated from the building.

TRT World reporter Usman Aliyu Uba who arrived at the site close to 7am confirmed, “The army is not allowing anyone inside the office.”

Describing the three-way stand-off between the special police force, the army and protesters, Uba said the police arrived and tried to negotiate with the army, to allow the staff to enter the building. 

Armoured vehicles seen on the road outside the TRT World office. July 16, 2016.

“But the army is still patrolling the office; I can see three army officers holding guns.”

Uba added special police force in unmarked cars armed with heavy weaponry were on standby outside, as at least two army trucks were visible through the gates.  

More than a hundred anti-coup protesters in front of the TRT World building, “are telling the army to leave, to allow the staff to enter.”

Protesters outside the TRT World office in Istanbul the morning after the army attempted a coup. July 16, 2016.

One of the protesters who spoke to TRT World suggested that the army was refusing to exit because of the presence of the public. “They don’t want to leave with the protesters watching.”

“We have been [on the streets] since 9pm, there was a fight in Turkey and we won,” said Tarik Yalcinkaya, another protester. “The soldiers have given up but they are just waiting for civilians to step back as they [the army] do not feel safe.”