CNN Turk: ‘At Gunpoint, We Had to Evacuate the Floor’

By Mark Joyella 

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It was one chilling scene in a night of dramatic and violent images–the armed takeover of CNN Turk, the CNN sister network in Turkey that was briefly forced to suspend broadcasting during the attempted military coup that began Friday night.

“One story by one story they came up to the top where CNN Turk’s studio (is),” CNN Turk editor in chief Ferhat Boratav said during CNN’s coverage of the coup. “At gunpoint, we had to evacuate the floor.”

Boratav said a helicopter carrying about 15 soldiers landed in the network’s parking lot and forced employees out of the building–including the network’s newsroom and studio. Employees continued to cover the story until they were led out during “very tense moments.” At least one shot was heard, CNN reports.

“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 before being led out. “That’s it, we now have to go.” The network was left broadcasting an image of an empty studio.