Turkey coup: Who is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

01:53 - Source: CNN
Who is Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

Story highlights

Turkey's military attempted a coup and declared martial law

Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for people to take to the streets

Live blog: Follow the fast-moving developments

CNN —  

Low-flying military jets buzzed over Turkey’s capital of Ankara. Soldiers blocked major bridges in Istanbul. State-run television announced that the military had imposed martial law.

Where is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during Turkey’s coup attempt? In an interview via FaceTime on CNN Turk television, he urged people to take to the streets against the military. He vowed to return Ankara. His location was unclear.

“This was done from outside the chain of command,” he said, adding that lower-ranking officers had rebelled against senior officers.

“In history, nowhere in the world has a coup been successful,” Erdogan added. “Sooner or later, they all fail.”

Meanwhile, thousands across Istanbul and Ankara began flooding the streets alongside military tanks.

Famously sensitive to criticism, Erdogan is no stranger to controversy. Here’s how he rose to power and divided a country.