Crazy videos show Turkish Air Force F-16s flying at very low level among the buildings during military coup

Turkish Air Force F-16s performing show of force low passages over Ankara. With afterburners, nav lights, armament and releasing flares.

Both bridges over the Bosphorus have been closed, tanks are in the road and surrounding key places, the state TV and Istanbul airport have been occupied and all flights have been cancelled: a coup is in progress in Turkey.

The military takeover is supported by the Turkish Air Force F-16s that are performing ultra low-level passes, at rooftop altitude, with full afterburners over Turkey’s capital Ankara.

Take a look at the following footage.

At least one of the aircraft performing the show of force appears to be armed with AIM-120 and AIM-9 air-to-air missiles and drop tanks.

Here is another interesting clip:

It looks like F-16s are even launching flares to intimidate pro-Erdogan protestors.

Top image via @DefenseAero. H/T Giuliano Ranieri for sending the video links




About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. As for now, the part of the military that tried to overthrow the sultan
    had only helos, and armor available. The F16s were from the loyalist
    faction, as they shot down the helos, and provided cover. The sultan’s
    TK8456 loitered for a long time near the Marmara Sea, without being
    disturbed by any F16. (now
    conveniently deleted from fr24)
    It looks like a CIA coup attempt, using (some of) the Gulenists, and expecting the rest of the army to join. The obomba staff waited out to see where the balance tilts, and after the coup’s failure was evident, started with support messages for the government.
    Another hypothesis is that the sultan, and his secret services, set up the Gulenists, to finally get rid of them (but that looks less probable).

  2. Got to worry for the guy flying that thing… took a chance to ensure a secular gov and doesn’t look like it worked out.

    Going to be hell to pay…

    • How do you predict a secular government was to follow the coup, and not a military junta? The example of Egypt doesn’t fare well for those who hoped Erdogan would fall.

      • From the historical prospective the Turkish armed forces have enforced a secular government….

        And we’ll military governance would follow immediately afterwards they have always turned power back to civilian authorities… pretty quickly as well. Think the last military ruling council lasted 3 years, that’s less than the term of a US president.

  3. So the sonicboom everywhere over Ankara were quite intended to encourage ppl go out. unbelievable this is a usage of fighters in stealth era

    • When you live near these jets you see them flying like this quite often. It is maintaining their readiness. It is just like another practice, another drill. Doesn’t make sense to not practice what you may one day need to do. Yes, there is an element of psychological manipulation but that is a huge part of conflict.

  4. A shame the small group of Turkey military patriots didn’t succeed. Apparenetly Turks now want an Islamic dictatorship rather than secular democracy.

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