CNN’s sister network CNN Turk was shut down briefly as coup plotters attempted to own the airwaves early Saturday.
Dramatic footage showed soldiers — apparently engaged in the coup — entering the Dogan Media Center in Istanbul, while the network’s anchor reported that troops had entered the CNN Turk building in the center.
A helicopter carrying around 15 soldiers landed in the parking lot and entered the building, forcing CNN Turk employees to leave. “One story by one story they came up to the top where CNN Turk’s studio (is),” CNN Turk editor in chief Ferhat Boratav told CNN.
“At gunpoint, we had to evacuate the floor.”
Pro-government demonstrators then entered the facility and police intervened, while the CNN Turk employees remaining in the building experienced some “very tense moments.” At least one shot was heard.
As the soldiers took over the studio, the studio struggled to continue to air.
“We don’t know how much longer we can continue our broadcast, about five or 10 minutes ago they entered,” the CNN Turk anchor said.
“We will try to continue our broadcast until the last moment,” as chaos could be heard behind the anchor.
A studio camera was left up and running as engineers and managers were seen walking the studio. An on-screen read “CNNTURK BROADCAST ABOUT TO CUT.”
A manager walked through the studio, telling staffers off camera, “I will leave last.”
“Everyone shut off your computers.”
“We are shutting off our broadcast. We are emptying the CNNTurk and Kanald studio.”
The broadcast resumed roughly an hour later.
CNN Turk’s studios were not the only media organization stormed by opposition troops. A senior adviser to the Turkish president said the military — or at least a faction of it — had managed to gain control of several places, including Turkish state TV in Istanbul.
Emre Kizilkaya, a journalist with the Hurriyet newspaper, which is housed in the same media complex, tweeted that soldiers had stormed the paper’s newsroom.