tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 15, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
of the stakes at play here. and one of the great ironies is that the media outlets has waged such sustained assault on have essentially been those that have given him a life line tonight if in fact he's able to reclaim power. our coverage continues next with rachel maddow. >> good evening, chris, thanks, my friend. >> you bet. >> as somebody who mostly covers american politics for a living, at a time like this, with what happened in nice yesterday and with what has happened in turkey tonight, it just gives you a chance to recalibrate in terms of what's going on in the world. it's hard to imagine in advance what would have pushed us off any coverage in primetime of the republican presidential nominee choosing his running mate and making a controversial choice at that, and doing it in a controversial way. but right now, this is the only muslim nation in nato, this is one of our most important allies
in the world. the large important and critically strategically important nation of turkey undergoing what appears to be an attempted coup, an in-process coup, and a fast-moving story that has a lot of different elements. it's 4:00 a.m. local time in turkey right now, they're seven hours ahead of the american east coast. at 4:00 a.m. local time, that means the sun is due to rise there in about an hour or so. we don't know if dawn and daylight will bring clarity or resolution. it's starting to feel like it will not, but it has been a tumultuous and shocking night in turkey. right now, we're about six hours into what appears to be an attempted coup by a faction of the turkish military. in very short order in the middle of the night, what happened tonight, which was not true at the very start of this story, was that at least tens of thousands of turkish people have turned out into the streets. and at least in istanbul, turkey's largest city, these crowds that have turned out into the streets, waving turkish
flags, fronting and stopping military vehicles in the streets, those crowds in istanbul, appear to have at least temporarily stopped any efforts by some sub set of the military to seize the government. that said, istanbul is not all of turkey. the capital is ankara, which is more than 200 miles away. the situation on the streets of ankara may not be as easy to describe as what's going on in istanbul. this coup attempt, if in fact, that is what's going on, this coup attempt may have taken a very different course in the nation's capital city than it took in its largest city of istanbul, where we've had so many fascinating live shots, where we've seen people flood into the streets. where we saw at one point what appeared to be istanbul police officers arresting turkish soldiers. police taking soldiers into custody. this is all late breaking, it's all happening live. it's a very fast-moving situation. this may all yet change over the
course of this hour and the course of this evening, but it started tonight essentially as a surprise. there were not public indications that this coup was in the works. it was about 10:00 p.m. local time reports started to surface that soldiers had forced the shutdown of two bridges over the boss por us in istanbul, bridges literally between tu-- we got these first confusing, alarmed reports that for some reason, soldiers in military vehicles were shutting down those bridges. at the same time, reports also started to circulate that military fighter jets were flying low over the capital city of ankara, very low. again, istanbul and ankara, over 200 miles apart, istanbul is three times the size of ankara, about 14 million people, a huge tourist capital, a huge airport, a huge economic and cultural
center for turkey and the world. ankara is the national capital, it's much smaller. but we got the initial reports of bridges being shut down and the scary fly-by of the f-16s in ankara and not long after, the president phoned in and said the military was acting without orders, said it was undemocratic. importantly, he said the government remained in complete control of the country. but while that was happening, the group within the military, that was apparently staging the coup, they took over the tv station called trt and delivered a statement that was read on state tv. the anchor later said she read it at gunpoint. the statement declared a curfew, it told people to stay home, it declared marshall law, and in the statement, the mute nears in the military claimed they had fully seized control of the
country and they were in control of the government now. they said they had taken over the country because the secular rule of law was being threatened. so they had taken over and turkey would now be run by what they call a peace council. now, at that point, we'd heard from the prime minister but not from the president. reports circulated that he was in the country, not abroad, but on vacation, in a different part of turkey at a report on the black sea. and then in one of the stranger moments of this story, president erdogan called into cnn turk and made a statement to the nation, not on camera exactly, or sort of on camera but once removed. he made a statement from his iphone, using face time, which the tv station shot and broadcast that to the nation. the reporter held her phone in her hand, as he used his phone to call her on face time and address the country that way.
speaking from an undisclosed location. he was prime minister from 2002 to 2014. then he was elected president, which is supposed to be a more ceremonial, less powerful position, but ala putin, he's used the new job title to stay in firm and increasing control of the turkish government. that said, he is technically the democratically elected leader of turkey and when he appeared to national tv via iphone, he said the coup would be stopped and those who orchestrated the coup would pay a heavy price. he told the turkish people that they should stop the coup, that they should take to the streets. quote, there is no power higher than the power of the people. he told people to go into public squares, importantly, to go to the airports, to show support for the government in the streets, to essentially stop the coup, and it happened. well after midnight into streets that were already filling with
tanks and armored personnel carriers, the people of turkey did take to the streets, thousands and thousands of people flooded into the streets in istanbul, lots of people carrying the turkish flag in a show of nationalism. people did gather all over the country, all over istanbul, on boss forus bridge, at the ataturk airport, the site of that terrible terrorist attack last month. now, in ankara, again, it may be a different story. there are reports that the turkish military used tanks and that those tanks may have opened fire near the turkish parliament building. there have been reports of explosions heard in ankara. there have been reports that bombs may have been dropped by warplanes on ankara. the state department has issued an emergency alert for all americans in turkey. they're asking u.s. citizens to stay vigilant, to stay indoors and to shelter in place. airports in turkey are closed. that said, "the new york times" has reported in the last few minutes that president erdogan
has emerged at istanbul's ataturk airport. the a.p. is reporting that large crowds have greeted him as he's emerged from a vehicle at ataturk airport in istanbul. in terms of the american stake and turkey strategic position here, turkey is a u.s. ally, a complicated one, but an ally. turkey is also a member nation of nato. today they called for full respect of turkey's democratic institutions. just moments ago ahead of his arrival, president erdogan tweeted in english, again telling people to come to city squares, to airports, saying the only power he recognizes is the power of the people. this attempted coup appears, at least appears, to still be under way. the president reportedly has now surfaced at the main airport in istanbul. we have much less clarity of what's going on in the national
capital of ankara. joining us now from bullent aleriesa, the founding director of the turkey project. thank you for talking with us tonight. >> thank you. great timing for research on ankara. >> seriously. let me just ask you, in terms of what i just explained there, did i say anything that struck you as wrong or seems to have been overtaken by events? >> no, i think you did a very good summary of the very confusing events to turks, as well as to those who are watching the events here. but it looks like the coup attempt is faltering. but like you said, it's still not over. >> what we're able to broadcast is a live shot of ataturk airport, the main airport in istanbul, which is just thronged with what appears to be a mostly celebratory crowd as there are
reports that president erdogan has landed there. can you tell us if the situation in ankara is very different? we had reports of air strikes and a bombing of the parliament building. >> at least one air strike by part of the air force. it might have been a helicopter. it might have been a fighter jet, on the parliament building. the headquarters of the military is still under the control of the coup perpetrators, and there are stories that they fired from inside the building out. and there are pretty much confirmed stories of confrontations between the military and the police. which unlike the ones in istanbul, where you reported that members of the military have been detained by the police, which is loyal to the government. in this case, there are stories that the military actually raided the special forces component of the police and killed a number of policemen. you know, one thing that needs
to be on the line, rachel, is that -- ankara is the capital, but erdogan was mayor of istanbul for a number of years. he was born in istanbul. he loves the city, and the city loves him back. so it's no surprise that the throngs that he called on to rise up, did indeed rise up and materialize at the airport. and facilitate his return. but, i think it's -- the situation in ankara needs to be stabilized. there's stories that it's one other major city, bursa, where there has been trouble. and as the dawn breaks, which is in a couple of hours from now, turkey will still be in a situation in which the coup attempt is not being completely pacified, and the system is in a
state of shock at what was thought to be unthinkable, there's been no coup attempt in turkey for 20 years by the military. it has gone through one of these again, and whether it's successful or as seems more likely, it fails, it is unwelcome to this country. >> and i'm going to ask you to hold on for a moment from ankara. we've just fed in the tape of president erdogan addressing his supporters as he landed at ataturk airport. we have that tape of, this is just moments ago, and we have it translated into english. stay with us. let's roll that tape. we've got that tape coming up in just a moment, i should tell you. what you are looking at here in terms of these live shots -- here is ataturk airport where president erdogan has just landed. watch. >> translator: i want to, first of all, say this. a group of -- a group from the military forces and they belong
to this non-infrastructustructu made an attempt to attack the integrity of our country. and there is -- they have started this -- these clashes in some of the countries -- some of the cities of turkey. and this attempt at uprising will get its answer from the law and they will be given an answer by the judicial system and no matter where they belong to, they should know that in this
count country, the law is the main thing, and as the president of this country, the political party that i helped develop, and the people of this nation, should go out, and the members ever the ak party also, the people who support ak party, should go out on the streets, on the arenas. they should be out on the street, and this is the best answer to these people who are -- who have attempted this uprising. and some -- some of them are being arrested, actually, turkey
won't be frightened amid this kind of uprising, and turkey cannot be governed from pennsylvania. 45 million, who can vote in turkey will form the future of this country, and will govern this country. our prime minister also spoke before and said that these tanks, these military equipment, belong to this country, and we won't be afraid of these tanks. i want them to know that military -- this minority group
in the military will pay for what they did and we will be standing up straight and strong and i want our nationals also to be strong, to stand up straight, i want them to go to the airports, to the arenas. i want to -- yes, he is. i don't know. he's at the airport. ataturk airport, yes. i don't -- i can't tell if it -- it says last minute. >> that was president erdogan speaking a moment ago. you heard the translator there, both translating his remarks and talking at the end there. that was just moments ago. now he's about to make another statement, obviously a more
formal statement here, and i think we are going to -- control room, are we going to be able to have simultaneous translation of this? all right, let's just go to this while it's happening in real time. >> translator: -- getting ready to make a statement live. this is live. this is the president of turkey, mr. erdogan, again, at the airport in istanbul, at ataturk airport, and they're asking everyone to be quiet, he's getting ready to make another statement. can you tell us about the current situation, dear friends. i want to --
>> she's translating, yes. >> translator: there was an attempted coup d'etat -- >> i can't hear it. >> translator: these clashes, the uprising that was going on, we realized that there was a group of minority in the turkish military, and they are trying to harm the unity, solidarity and integrity of our country. they were not able to accept the integrity of this country. and these people, we found out, that they belong to the parallel formation, and they have developing for the last 40 years, and they were able to
enter into the turkish military and they were hiding in the military, and they -- this attempt, this coup d'etat is an uprising. and i can say this very clearly, that they are going to pay for this in the harshest way. and we have been -- this government has been elected with the words of the turkish citizens, and the commander in chi chief, as the president of this country, and they weren't able to accept this. no matter how hard they try, i want them to know that we will
keep working on our path of unity and solidarity, and they won't deter us from our way of governing this country. and i could say that this is actually -- this attempted uprising is a gift from god to us because this will help us clean our military from the members of this gang, beginning of august, there will be this military meetings and it's very meaningful that they timed this upsizing right before these meetings, and they were aware of what will happen at those meetings. they were afraid of some
decisions that will be taken at those meetings. and even if people do not agree, turkey now is not the old turkey, this is the new turkey, and that's why we are taking some important steps right now. we are at the yish kir airport and just a couple of days, less than a week ago, this was an attack to this airport and today there is another attempt of an uprising. and f-16 airplanes are flying over the istanbul airport. why are these f-16 airplanes flying over the istanbul airport? why did we purchase these f-16 airplanes? we purchased them so that they
protect our country from the enemies. but these people who have captured these f-16s, are flying over istanbul airport and stopping the regular passenger planes to land in the istanbul airport, and they are threatening even the president of this country. i was in marmaris before i arrived here and right after i left, i had heard that right after i left marmaris, they bombed where we were. i think they are still talking about it at marmaris. they didn't think that we would be coming over to istanbul. this is what they are doing. they are trying to harm the institutions of this country,
the presidency. they took my -- actually, they have taken my secretary. they have taken him. what will they do? what is -- what are they trying to do? they have also taken hostage a commander in chief. i don't know what his situation is, if he's safe now. i want to tell this to all the commanders, the high-level people of the military, i believe that you are -- you favor the values of this country, but there are some people within the military maybe up until this time you thought they had the same values as you do, but you should know that they were getting their
directio directions, they were being told what to do from pennsylvania. they weren't actually respecting the chain of command -- >> should we cut away? >> -- within the military. i want to talk to each member of the military. you are our sons. you are as these people, such an attempt trying to just point a gun to your families, to members of your families, is not acceptab acceptable. you have been given these weapons by this nation. and if you point your guns to the nation, that won't be forgiven. many people --
>> the turkish president erdogan speaking tonight in istanbul for the first several hours of this, what appears to be an attempted coup. he was in transit. he had spoken to the nation only by face time from his iphone. he's now given two on-camera statements just moments apart. we're joined by dexter fillkins of the new york magazine, who has lived in istanbul and been reporting on turkey for years. what strikes you about what we just heard from him? >> well, it looks like the coup is probably going to -- the attempted coup is probably going to fail. he's already speaking about it in the past tense. >> as a gift from god. >> well, look, this is a long-time coming, this attempt by the military. there's a lot of ironies now, erdogan can now portray himself az force for democracy, but he has been dismantling everything
democratic institution for the past decade. he's put reporters in prison, his opponents in prison, most of the general staff of the military in prison. he's rapidly been accumulating power to the point where he's almost now unchallenged. i think the danger now is if he survives this coup attempt, that remains to be scene. it's hard to imagine that he's going to leave power any time soon. >> he was talking about the perpetrators of the coup, he said some of them have already been arrested. he said, they will pay for what they did. at one point, he said the ringleader who plotted all of this will pay the price in front of the nation. he said it was a gift from god because he'll be able to cleanse these elements from the military now. he drew a direct line to what happened tonight to what happened at ataturk airport last month, which was an isis-inspired attack. >> you can see him, he's like hu
huey long, he's a populist. he just gathers the people arou around phim. but his model is putin. that's the fear and that's the irony. because the turkish military is not a democratic institution itself, and they're claiming to be acting to save turkish democracy. there's a lot of ironies here. >> in terms of the split of the military, we keep hearing it's a faction of the military that did this. what do we know about that? is this a division that you could recognize ahead of time and outside of that institution and how how big a group this would have been that tried to do this? >> well, no. because it's a very dynamic situation. but historically in turkey, the military has always been the guardian of the secular state, since the turkish republic was founded in 1923. so this would be the fifth time that they've tried to overthrow or successfully overthrown a
democratically elected government. so they see themselves as the guardians of the state -- >> against islamist oriented government? >> yes. they're very secular. and they both erdogan. and they tried once before, 2007, turks refer to it as the post modern coup. they didn't try to arrest erdogan or shoot him, but they tried to intimidate him out of power. erdogan saw that as an opportunity, faced them down, and chased them back to the barracks and began a series of prosecutions. i've been watching this story for more than a decade. but there are elements in the military that are strong and cohesive enough to actually do that. >> to try this. >> yeah. i thought he had beaten the military. that it was broken. >> when you say he dismantled the amendment, he dismantled them as a political institution
that could resist him? >> no, it's a nato military. >> right. saw the f-16s tonight. >> he crushed the military's leadership, essentially. it's a series of basically what amounted to show trials. they were called the sledge hammer trials. and he put several hundred military officers in prison. so he basically broke the back of the military that he inherited and was able to put in people who believed were loyal to him. again, that's what surprising about this. obviously there was elements within the military, or even the majority of the military, we really don't know it was a faction yet, that were strong enough and cohesive enough that they could hold together and actually try to do something like this. >> let me ask you too, dexter, from your years and experience reporting inside that country, these pictures on the left were from earlier this evening. but there have been increasingly large crowds now to the point of traffic gridlock on the streets
of istanbul. thousands and thousands and thousands of people out in the streets and we heard the president calling further for people to flood the public squares, get into the streets, get to the airports, get to arenas. do you expect, as that continues to happen, that there will be conflict in the streets, or will everybody be pulling in one direction? >> well, look, the military, the coup obviously, the attempted coup wasn't very professionally done. they didn't even arrest erdogan himself. but if you look back, the coup, the military overthrew the democratically elected government in 1980, and they killed thousands and thousands of people to do it. and they imprisoned more after the coup, and they killed thousands of them. are they willing to do that again? because that's what they'd have to do. you can see the crowds in istanbul. they'd have to be willing to go in there and basically mow them down. it just seems like that's a moment in history that has past. >> dexter from "the new yorker," thank you for coming in in what is a hectic night. thank you for being here.
>> thank you. >> we'll take a quick break. when we come back, we've got a live report from ankara. and we've been looking at pictures almost entirely from istanbul, but ankara is 200 miles away and the situation there may be very different, including reports of bombing just within the last few minutes, just while we were listening to president erdogan there. the situation in istanbul may be very different from the rest of turkey.
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including reports of bombin developments tonight overnight in turkey where an attempted military coup is in some state of under way. the scenes that we have seen from istanbul are not necessarily matched by what's going on in turkey's other major cities, including in the capital city of ankara, about 200 miles away. i want to bring in diego coupe olo in the center of ankara, turkey who many of the city's embassies are located. he's been reporting tonight from his apartment. thank you for being with us tonight. i appreciate your time. >> thank you for having me, rachel. >> can you just describe what you've seen and if the scenes that we have been able to show in ankara, of people outside in the streets are being matched in ankara as they are in istanbul? >> yes, i mean, the things are accurate. there's a lot of misinformation
but what i've seen from my window is smoke rising over the city center and two to four jets circling throughout the night for the last maybe seven hours, i would say. occasional bombings, car alarms going on, people screaming from time to time, there's gunfire. right now it's calming down, but the jets keep coming back, and when it they do, it another explosion and it just continues. >> when you say you've seen and heard bombings and you've seen the jets circling, is it clear to you that it's the jets dropping bombs and that are firing from the air? >> it's either the jets or the helicopter because the parliament building has been bombed. there's been some police positions that have been bombed and there's evidence and photos of these occurrences. so i can't see from my location, because it's dark and, you know, i'm not exactly in those areas,
but i hear the explosions. my building is battling. so i'm just going to say, yes, i would agree that there's some bombing. >> okay, can you tell if there are large numbers of people in the streets in ankara? >> from the videos online, yes. i haven't been able to go downstairs, because the fighting has been pretty heavy, and the people that have gone down into the streets are mostly supporters of erdogan, and they want to show support. they were called down by both ima imams, the mosques, and also the akp, the ruling party here in turkey to show their support and say they're against this coup. and the result has been that they've been fired upon, there's some videos online that you can see helicopters shooting down at people running in the streets. and there's heavy fatalities. we can't talk about numbers right now, but there's been a serious amount of deaths tonight. >> diego, in terms of the footage that we have seen of what appears to be the bombing
of the parliament building, is that right in central ankara, is that in a place that's set apart from the rest of populated ankara, or is it really integritied into the downtown? >> oh e, no, that's 20 minutes walking from where i am now. we saw the smoke directly rising from that building. it's in the center of ankara, in a complex with security gates and parks and gardens, but it's in the center and it's just been incredible to watch this happen. because, you know, this was a densely populated city, and so is istanbul, and there's live warfare going on tonight, and it's been going on, like i said, for about seven hours. >> diego, thank you very much for being with us. i appreciate you taking the time. stay safe tonight in ankara. i want to bring now into the conversation, retired general wesley clark, former supreme commander of nato, one of the key strategic elements here at play for an american audience, turkey is our nato ally and that comes with it, both a sense of
alliance but also some responsibility to defend turkey when it is under threat. i appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you, rachel. nice to be with you. i'm getting word from friends in the gulf who are in contact with people there, that this is winding down, that some of the coup leaders in ankara have turned themselves in, and there's still some units fighting apparently that didn't get the word, or want to resist. but they think that it's basically going to be over soon. >> general clark, in terms of the close military cooperation between the u.s. military and the turkish military, obviously we're seeing u.s.-made weaponry. we're seeing u.s.-made f-16s, and we know as part of the nato alliance, there is intense and close military cooperation. does that closeness give us
intelligence? give us insight into what part of the turkish military might have mounted this coup? >> probably not. we don't know all the people in all the units, all the ranks in the turkish military. obviously when we work with them on a deployment, sure we do. but turkey's got a large army. it's spread out over the country, and we're not really there and present with all of them. they do use your weapons, they're our allies. and turkish army has changed over the years. you know, it was always a very secularized force, but it was always a con script force, and the very popular forces that have carried erdogan to power must also affect the kon scripts who come into the turkish military. the top leaders that i knew, many were taken out of the military, some are still in jail. so the top leadership has
changed as well under president erdogan. so this is a different turkish military. it's more outward oriented. there are more officers who speak english, but in the ranks, they're very well connected in terms of social media and other things. it's not an army that's divorced from its people. and i think that's probably, when this is all said and done and we dot postmortem on it, that's going to be one of the findings. in terms of our nato relationship with turkey had this been going differently know this it appears to be tonight, had this been a coup that claims control of the government that arrested erdogan that was able to fully grasp the levels of power in turkey, what would our responsibilities be as a nato ally at that point? >> you know, that's a type hypothetical question that we'd
be wrestling with, but consider the case in egypt. so we pushed out mr. mubarak, who had been there for many, many years, because he wasn't sufficiently responsive to democratic forces. and then, when there was a takeover against the democratically elected president, by a general, it took us a while, but we gradually came around in some way, perhaps some elements of our government grudgingly, to support now president cici in egypt. these things have a way of workiwork working through a process. turkey is a very important ally to the united states. it's a member of nato, and we need to work closely with this country. istanbul is the major hub city in that part of the world as the prime minister of bulgaria told me a month ago, there's three times more people in istanbul than in all of bulgaria, so
people understand how significant turkey is. we have to find a way to work with it. and that's the bottom line. it would drive whatever the outcome was going to be. >> retired general wesley clark, it's a real honor to have you with us tonight. i appreciate it. >> thank you, rachel. >> we just heard moments ago from president erdogan who has arrived back in istanbul, he was apparently on vacation in the black sea and has flown back triumphantly to ataturk airport in istanbul. what you're looking at on your screen, these are live images from ankara, which is the seat of government in turkey, and there has been definitely a disparate story between these two major cities tonight. we heard a live report moments ago from a western journalist, who is living in ankara and who has been able to report tonight on fighter jets continuing to circle that city, on loud explosions. we saw footage from what appears
to have been the bombing of the parliament building, right in densely populated downtown ankara. president erdogan said tonight when he was -- when he gave his remarks at the airport in istanbul, he said that fighter jets were trying to isolate his plane, while he was flying back from the black sea to istanbul. there's also been, you know -- there's also been allegations from the president that this is somehow in keeping with the isis-directed attack that happened -- the terrorist attack that happened and killed more than 40 people at that same airport in istanbul last month. there's also been allegations from the president that this is a coup attempt that was directed from the united states, not from the u.s. government, but from an exiled turkish cleric, a former ally of president erdogan who has essentially been exiled to the poconos, i kid you not, where he lives in exile on a
compound there. president erdogan saying that essentially the supporters of that exiled cleric had formed a fifth column of traitors within the turkish military and that tonight's cue wioup will be a g from god so he can cleanse the military of these forces within it. president erdogan was prime minister for 12 years before he became president a couple years ago. he's a democratically elected leader and you see people turning out in the streets tonight in his support. he's a skilled politician, a nationalist politician, and increasingly anauthoritarian leader who has consolidated power, not only within his branch of executive power, but within all branches.
at core, turkey is our nato ally. we'll take a quick break and be back with another live report from ankara which is becoming the most important, or at least the most interesting story tonight, as well as further live reporting from istanbul. stay with us. takbbq trophies:hese best cracked pepper sauce... most ribs eaten while calf roping...
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and these are the lungs. (boy) sorry. (dad) don't worry about it. (vo) at our house, we need things that are built to last. that's why we got a subaru. (avo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. >> i want to show you some video from the past hour. now this is not verified by nbc news. what this is, is video that we've taken from facebook. it was posted by oz cater ji, and this is posted within the last hour. he says he's in taksim square in istanbul, and the reason we want to show this to you even though he have not verified it, we're trying to get a sense of whether or not in fact these reports are true that the coup is winding
down. and we're trying to get a sense of whether or not the military is still using weapons of war either to intimidate, or in fact, inflict damage on civilian populations in turkey. that's the context that's why we believe it's news worthy. see it for yourself. >> i think a jet just blew really close to us. there was a loud explosion. there's certainly gunfire now. they're firing. i'm not sure where. they are firing.
okay. i'm not sure exactly where those jets went or what happened. they came very, very close to us. >> that was posted to facebook by oz within the last hour. he said he was in instanbull. let's go back to the seat of government, capitol city of turkey. thank you for sticking with us. he's the founding director of the center for streejic international studies. happened to be on international trip when tonight's events broke out. thank you, again, for staying with us. dawn is breaking over. i wanted to get your reaction for what we heard tonight from the president after he arrived back at the instanbul airport.
>> he revealed a lot of things that we did not know, and the turkish people did not know, including the fact that the hotel where he'll be staying off the coast in southwest of the country has been bombed after he had left, presumably, by, you know, some who believed he was still there. and arrest on his way to the airport. then he revealed that the secretary general of the presidential palace has been detained and he doesn't know where he is. and we also learned separately that -- that his son was killed in the events of last night. dawn is breaking and it's breaking on a confusing situation in turkey.
and he's in instanbul. he's been reporting is partly under control. jets have been flying over and bombing. huge explosion. about 20 minutes ago, half an hour ago, we'll see what saturday brings. whichever way you look at it. this country is not out of the woods yet. >> when you say there was a huge explosion about 20 minutes ago, could you tell it was that from the direction of the parliament building. was that just in regular populated part of the capitol. >> social media has been reporting it hit again. it seemed to be closer to where i am. i'm a few miles out away from the parliament. it might have been somewhere else that i honestly can't tell you where it is. but the fact is that the jets apparently from the nearby base
and are bombing the capitol city. and that's the reason why i'm saying that even if it may be faltering, the coup is still continuing and there's a lot more before this all ends and the other point, which i made before, april, this is a tremendous shock to the turkish system and it damages the potential of stability and when it comes on the airport, the on going war in the southeast of the country, it's going to have refugees and everything else that has concerned people about turkey. this is just certainly one more straw on top of the camel's back. >> founding director of the turkey project for the strategic international studies. stay safe, you're in a city that's under fire. be safe and be well. thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you, rachel. >> thank you. keeping in mind, again,
we've heard reports this appears to be winding down, we've heard that from colleagues in the region. we heard that a little bit from dexter who is a real turkey expert who reported on turkey itself numerous times for the new york er who spent a lot of times in the region. we may have two different stories to tell and the strong hold and not winding down elsewhere, including in the nation's capitol city. joining us now is nicholas burns. he's the former u.s. ambassador to nato. ambassador burns thank you for taking the time to speak with us tonight. i appreciate the time, sir. >> thank you. >> in terms of what we've been describing or reporting based on your understanding of the situation in your contacts, is anything that i've said seem wrong to you or seem like it's been over taken by events, can you add anything to our understanding, here. >> i think you've adequately described the complexity that's been going on. this may be that the government
is regaining in control in parts. but as you've been reporting in your correspondence. it's a different story, there's at stake for the united states. i think most people would agree, turkey is two of three most important allies in europe along with germany and the u.k. geo politically is so important. the only member state in nato. of course, just south of the russian federation is got a very strong mull tear. i thought it was important, rachel, that president obama put out a statement saying that they supported the elected civilian government of turkey. that was followed by a statement nato secretary general and now hillary clinton has put out a statement, saying the same thing we have to support a democratic r re-elected government. i hope that that statement by the united states' american leader, german leaders, will
have an impact on clearly divided military. what you're seeing on your screen is military versus military, two different factions, fights it out for the future of turkey. >> the thing that we're fearing is that what we'll see is a portion of the military fighting civilians, bombing civilians, killing civilians as part of what may be an on going coup effort. i mean, one of the things that we would hope as americans would be a by-product of our close military, would be that we have insight anything dangerous that might be brewing that we have some influence over whether or not they would ever turn their weapons against their own people. do we not have that kind of insight or that kind of leverage. >> i think we likely do. there's been generations of relationships established between american military officers and turkish military officers. it would be a logical thing for us to try to use those channels, if we could, in support of an end of the violence, and the killing of civilians and this
indiscriminate fire that we've seen glimpses of tonight on the screen. and very important that the united states is put itself forward here, you know, there are other people might have argued that the president, our president not make a statement tonight to wait to see how this comes out. he's taken a principal stand in support of democratic re-elected government. we don't have a perfect relationship, united states, with the president, and he's been a frustrating partner and he was electedful you see that the people have now taken to the streets and that may turn out to be the decisive factor in this coup attempt, if people continue to resist the coup, that could be a determining factor could weaken the resolve of coup leader in that part of the military that has taken up arts against the government. >> there's also another american angle on this, which sounds bizarre to an american audience, but to students of turkish politics that should have been
expected is that the president in turkey, the president is blaming this coup on an exiled turkish cleric who literally lives in the poke nose, who lives in pennsylvania. he said tonight, that turkey cannot be governed from pennsylvania. he has tried unsuccessfully to have that man expedited back to turkey. yet that man is here and getting blamed for this. isn't that potentially flash point between our relations between the two countries. >> i think the turkish government understands that in no way shape or form supports this cleric in pennsylvania. but that may not be true for supporters of the president in his party. and we've seen a lot of criticism of the united states in the past, so it was instructed that the president when he made that very tough but emotional statement in instanbull singled out this -- having inspired, whether that's true or not, i think we just don't know at this point.
it is a complicating factor in how this will turn out! former secretary of state of political affairs, former u.s. ambassador to nato, thank you, sir. >> thank you, rachel. our coverage now continues live with this on going situation and confusing situation as dawn breaks in turkey. my colleague brian williams will be taking over now. thank you. brian williams here in new york and all weekend report at any certain at this point, an attempted military coup underway in turkey. when people saw the president turn to the airport and speak from the airport, a good many thought that would signal the end. it is clear over the past hour or two, that that is not yet true. there are problems with both sides and there are problems with the military plan to take