Transcript for Turkish Coup Leaders Say They're Imposing Martial Law
This is an ABC news special. Now report. To you did you. Good afternoon I'm David Huard ABC news headquarters here in new York and we are coming on the air with breaking news an apparent military coup. Now unfolding in Turkey. Turkish state television has been seized by the military martial law imposed across the country. Reports of low flying jets and gunfire at a course Turkey is a major US ally. And to keep military partner in the Middle East we do know at this hour that on Turkish state television that we've just mentioned has been seized super center has just read a letter. From a group calling itself the Turkish peace council imposing martial law it is not clear who's behind the coup. It is clear who was not reports say the chief of army staff is in detention. Now the US State Department tweeting moments ago that US citizens in Turkey should shelter in place. And stay indoors update family and friends of your status when possible is what they are urging I want to bring in our chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl. Of the White House monitoring this very closely tonight job. Didn't we have just been informed that the president has been notified or developments in Turkey as closely monitoring this is a shocking developments I can tell you. That is taking senior White House officials by complete surprise today. Turkey is arguably the most important US ally in the fight against crisis with the long border that it shares with Syria. Turkey is the site of the incirlik airbase which is what the launching point for almost all of the US air campaign. Against crisis in Iraq and in Syria so this is eight crucially important developments. And US officials here frankly are trying to figure out what's actually going on on the ground. You make a very strong point there John a key US ally in fact one of the most important in the region in the fight against vices. With the United States or want to bring in our chief global affairs correspondent. Up Martha Raddatz who joins us on the phone and Marc are early reports that the Turkish peace council is behind this. The White House no doubt scrambling to figure out who would fact that it is and what their motivation might be. That's exactly what's going on and especially as John pointed out how many military leak happy Turkey right now about 2200. US troops to bear in Turkey as well as countless. US dated since right now who are sheltering in place. Derrick 16100. US troops at incirlik airbase at Johns pointed out those are good men and women flying boat air missions in Egypt Syria. In two rockets made it much easier to go after I shift from those military base huge as each year in Haiti are right now that. Certainly complicates fish can't be flying mission can announced if you don't have a government in control. And Marta you cover the state department for years for ABC when you see tweets warning US citizens to shelter in place stay indoors. It underscores just how serious this is. It it it certainly does state and I can't imagine I mean all of its. Troubles were actually Turkey recent weeks you have as well just even being and one of those hotels or living there on impostors liquor at your report should she were short of tanks lining up each fighter jets flying low over Ankara. If that theory curious situation in a. All right Martha Raddatz Jon Karl thanks to both the view again we are reporting on a military coup in Turkey at this hour. Of great concern because Turkey is a major ally of the US of course in this fight against crisis early word. That certain people could be behind it's a group calling itself the Turkish peace council. We will continue to follow these developments we will have much more coming up on world news tonight a short time from now. We return you to regular programming for many viewed at your local news I'm David Muir in New York we'll see you shortly. This has been a special. For me.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.