What Americans in Turkey Need to Know After Turkish Military Coup

The State Department has sent out a series of guidelines.

July 15, 2016, 7:07 PM

— -- As a coup was being attempted in the Turkish capital of Ankara Friday, the U.S. government warned Americans there to stay indoors and to contact their family and friends to let them know they're safe.

Martial law and curfew have been imposed in Turkey, American officials said, and the U.S. State department is encouraging U.S. citizens to shelter in place, warning them against traveling to the U.S. embassy or consulate.

"The Turkish Government states that elements of the Turkish army are attempting an uprising, security forces are taking action to contain it, and some buildings are under blockade," the U.S. embassy said in an emergency message.

Social media may have been blocked in Turkey, said the U.S. embassy in Ankara, but Twitter said it had "no reason" to believe the service has been fully blocked. Twitter does suspect that there is an international slowing of traffic in the country. The State Department suggested using email, texts or phone calls to reach loved ones in the event that social media has been blocked.

The U.S. embassy in Ankara warned U.S. citizens that shots were heard in Ankara and that both bridges in Istanbul, the Bosphorous and Fatih Sultan Mehmet, have been closed. The embassy also informed Americans to monitor local press for updates, avoid areas of conflict and to exercise caution if they are in the vicinity of any military or security forces

There are currently 2,200 U.S. service members and civilian U.S. Department of Defense employees in Turkey, a senior defense official told ABC News. A total of 1,500 U.S. service members and civilian employees are located at the Incirlik Air Base, which has been at an elevated force protection level since March, when it also ordered all non-essential personnel out.

Incirlik is owned by Turkey and has a large Turkish military presence. The Department of Defense said it is unaware about any impact to the U.S. troops there and whether there has been an impact to base operations.

All flights at Istanbul's Ataturk airport were suspended, but any U.S.-bound flights from Istanbul that were in the air before the airport closed were allowed to land in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

More tips and resources for Americans in Turkey can be found on the U.S. embassy's website.

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