Watching the Attempted Turkish Coup Unfold on Twitter

From Wired:

This developing story will be updated.

First came the images of bridges blocked by Turkish military, soldiers and trucks lining both byways over the Bosphorus in Istanbul. In America, Twitter exploded with speculation that something big was happening. Newspapers had nothing, and TV stations were mum as journalists on the ground scrambled to gather facts. Only Twitter, as is so often the case with breaking news, let the world know that tanks were rolling through street and jets were flying over cities.

And people watched. And waited.

Both bridges in Istanbul have been blocked by Turkish military. Reason unknown. pic.twitter.com/HxyQn05Ox6

— Gilgo (@agirecudi) July 15, 2016

Military jets doing laps over #Ankara #Turkey as people talk of a coup attempt below. pic.twitter.com/yqxsuYTC3h

— Mr Red Ghost (@Mr_Ghostly) July 15, 2016

Few had any idea what was happening. Soldiers told them to go home, saying, “there is curfew.”

Video from Istanbul bridge. Soldiers shout at passing cars “There is curfew, everybody go home.” pic.twitter.com/8T2JeK5iTo

— Gilgo (@agirecudi) July 15, 2016

Turkish soldiers block both bridges on the Bosphorus in Istanbul and jets flying low in Ankara. Reason not clear yet pic.twitter.com/tMG7KKYvGh

— Selin Girit (@selingirit) July 15, 2016

Warplanes flew low over the capital of Ankara.

Very low flying F-16 over Ankara pic.twitter.com/ytjWDRHuJK

— BM-21 GRAD (@bm21_grad) July 15, 2016

With confirmed details scarce, Twitter did what it always does: It fell back upon speculation. People suggested it was a coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has pushed for more constitutional power. Others said there is no proof of that. It could be a response to terrorist threats, a country on high alert after recent attacks that include a deadly blast …

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