Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Jessica Plautz
July 15, 2016

Not even three weeks after an attack on Istanbul's airport, a military faction has attempted to overthrow Turkey's government.

Although initial reports indicate the coup attempt has likely failed, the action has created a chaotic situation in cities across the country.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement warning U.S. citizens in Turkey to shelter in place, and let friends and family know they are safe. Internet access—particularly to social media sites—is restricted in many areas, so phone, SMS or email (if possible) is a more reliable way to contact loved ones.

Travelers in Turkey should also monitor local media for updates on the immediate situation, as well as avoid areas of conflict.

While it is unclear who will take or maintain control of the Turkish government, at least at the moment, there is no doubt that avoiding crowds and areas with military forces should be a priority.

After military officers took to state-owned television to announce they had seized control, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took to online streaming and called for his supporters to take to the streets.

“The United States views with gravest concern events unfolding in Turkey,” Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday. “We are monitoring a very fluid situation.”

In a statement, Kerry said he spoke with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and “emphasized the United States’ absolute support for Turkey’s democratically-elected, civilian government and democratic institutions.”

“We urge all parties to ensure the safety and well-being of diplomatic missions and personnel and civilians throughout Turkey,” Kerry said. “Our Embassy and Consulates in Turkey continue to provide updates to U.S. citizens in Turkey. U.S. citizens should shelter in place and stay indoors.”

For those who have a friend or family member who is in Turkey, and who are concerned about their whereabouts, the State Department has a toll-free information line: 1-888-407-4747.

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