A quiet night at home, I hear my news alert beep on my phone, opening it up like I had done the night of the Nice attack I was yet again shocked at what I was reading. Military on the Istanbul bridges stopping traffic.
Oh god I thought not another terrorist attack. Then my mind went quickly realised that as Istanbul is a city the Jandarma have no jurisdiction there. I quickly went to twitter and the first tweet I read is this could be a coup. Panic hit me and I tried to call my sleeping husband after about the 10th attempt he answers tells me not to worry. Really…..
I alert my friends and with them all to be safe. What else could I do, I am safely tucked up at home in the UK and all hell is breaking loose in Turkey. I didn’t sleep till dawn till it seemed that it was quietening down and then I only slept 2 hours and the rest of the weekend has been spent following with dismay the horror movie of a weekend in Turkey.
It is yet to find an end, thousands have lost their jobs, from judges to police and thousands have been arrested and to date 208 have died. I think that number does not include the coup plotters.
Why did this happen?
There is no really understanding, the Government say it is because of the Gulen who is the leader of the parallel state. They wanted to bring down the Government and take control. The conspiracy theory is it was power grab by the Government a Staged Coup to take ultimate control and to cause chaos.
The latter is a dangerous move, it could have gone completely wrong and plunge the country into chaos. Yet there are some threads of truth in things I have read.
It mostly likely was a real coup as what leader would take such a risk. The faces of those young conscript soldiers will stay with me, I could see my sons face looking out at me, the fear of the crowds who were called out by Erdogan to protect the state, must have been a scary sight for those few soldiers.
As the story emerged, it became clear these young soldiers were ordered and told it was an exercise. They did not know what was going on, unlike what it seems others new and were ready to fight. I was just grateful that none of our family were doing their national service. I can’t imagine how the families felt when they seen their son’s faces front and centre on the TV.
What is happening now?
The Government over the weekend cleaned up the rest of the coup supports and continued to purge not only the military positions but also those of top judges, police and governor and major positions. There has been well over 10,000 sackings and arrests over the weekend. 20 media websites have been closed and now it seem more journalist will be detained or lose their jobs.
There has been a lot of talk about the death penalty over the past few days and it looks like the Government will bring the debate to parliament. I only hope that this is appease the people and that the decision will be brought not to bring it back. In 2004 Turkey voted to remove the death penalty, we can only hope that they do not bring it back.
The Government will now need to clean house and reappoint the positions that have been emptied over the weekend. They want Gulen to be brought to Turkey for trial and will need to give proof to America for his extradition.
I often think big things happen in Turkey and a few days later it is like nothing has happened. Perhaps this will be the same perhaps it will not. We hear a lot of talk about the New Turkey I feel this really will be a New Turkey that things will be changing now at a faster pace than before.
As I said at the start I wasn’t there, I was scared for my home and my family. I watched it all unfold, countless tweets and footage. But I can not comment for what it really felt like.
So I will leave you with some of the articles I think best show what happened and what is happening now. I am no political commentator and not a journalist so I can only write my thoughts.
I hope that whatever happens now, builds a free and democratic Turkey that we will see a turnaround begin from what was a bad year to start with, to something that makes Turkey proud again.
Articles for an insight into what is happening:
(some images are disturbing)
© 2016, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.