Turkish coup: the first-hand stories

Author : Espreso.TV

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ukrainians, who were in Turkey during the coup, and the locals shared their own stories of experiencing the historic events
16:12, 20 July 2016

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Currently it is difficult to say that Turkey is back to the normal life; some citizens are still frightened, and even outraged. The same cannot be said about the Erdogan’s followers, who are celebrating the victory of democracy.

The witnesses of the events in Istanbul and Ankara shared their observations and reflections on the future of Turkey and their place in it.

Victoria, resident of Istanbul:

July 15 in the lunch time, I was getting married in the local registry office. I was in a wedding dress. We left the house few times before the midnight. We had to cross the first bridge.

There was a huge traffic jam on the bridge. First, we could not understand what was happening and why cars in our line stood, while the other line was moving. Usually, there are no traffic jams on the bridge. No one knew why it was so. Later we read on Twitter that the military blocked the bridge, but the reasons were not specified. I was very anxious and worried because today was the day of my wedding!

We were not able to move forward, and only in a few hours could go back home. I will remember this day out for a long time.

Related: Why any outcome of the coup would be a loss for Turkey?

Ksenia, tourist from Ukraine:

I was at Ataturk Airport, at the 302th gate, the most dangerous area. The tanks were just in a meter from us. People began to beat out the windows in order to escape. Next to me, there was a woman 7 months pregnant. People and children were chaotically running. My pregnant friend (later we became friends) and me called the Ukrainian consul, who later came to the airport (at 2:30 am). The consul answered our call at the first attempt. The consulate employees recorded our names and passport data, and calmly reacted to all our questions and hysteria.

Maria, lives in Istanbul for 10 years

After watching the news, my first thought was immediately run to the store and buy some food, water, and withdraw money from the bankcard. And together with my husband we did it. At 2:30 am, we were in a supermarket and just swept everything needed.

Many other people were doing the same. Buyers and sellers were scared. There were the long queues near the bread stores and at the ATMs. People panicked. In the morning the situation was resolved, no queues or empty shelves, people safely withdrew money from the ATMs. The city came back to normal life, at least in my district.

Related: Observer: Turkey’s Weekend of the Long Knives

Shule, lives in Istanbul for 62 years:

I have experienced two coups, and I am not afraid of the third one. Every coup has the same scenario. Unfortunately, changing the government and intellectuals in Turkey is carried out in this way.

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I am sorry that after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk there were no patriots at all. Today no one would allow such a person to come to power. What do we have today? Censorship and harassment of dissidents…

Sabrie, moved to Istanbul two years ago

I moved to Turkey because this country shares the values and principles close to my own spirit; I am a Crimean Tatar. I am worried about all the unpleasant and tragic things that are happening here. But that night I was not ready to go into the streets, at the call of the President. This is not democracy.

Erdogan has "messaged" me and many of my friends with similar text calling on defending the homeland. My husband and I decided to save our lives. Now we think about what we should do next."

Vitaliy, arrived in Istanbul on business

At 23:00 we landed. At that time, we did not know anything about the situation in the country. Our flight was delayed and no one explained the reasons. They told about some technical problems with the board-computer. Then it turned out that all the flights were canceled.

Related: Merkel: Death penalty will end negotiations with Turkey on EU membership

We learned about the coup from the Internet and decided to leave the airport, not to stay in a potentially dangerous place. We had to come back to the territory of Turkey, as we have already passed the passport control.

At that moment, about fifty militaries rushed to the passport control board. The soldiers blocked all the exits and sprayed the tear gas. People began to scream and fall on the ground. After that, the crowd of Erdogan’s supporters came to defend the airport, and the military left. The Turks, who came to the airport, had an ordinary look, but they began to shout "Allahu akbar," which we perceive primarily as call of the terrorists. Only later, we realized that they began to pray.

Related: Reuters: 8,000 Turkish policemen fired due to involvement in military coup attempt

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