Nagihan Haliloglu is an assistant professor at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and a resident of Istanbul. Here, she records her observations and thoughts on the recent coup attempt in Turkey.
I first heard that something was not quite right in Istanbul as I was sitting by the Aegean shore in Çeşme, supposedly looking over to Chios and admiring the lights and reflections, but in reality wasting my time on twitter. I saw a tweet that said that the bridges over the Bosphorus had been blocked by tanks. Most of my time line thought that this was due to a Daesh threat – the airport had been bombed only a couple of weeks ago – others joked that there had been a coup. One tweet said that the call for prayer in Acıbadem in Istanbul district had already been called out in Turkish, referencing a practice that the military likes to engage in when they take power in Turkey. When I left the sea and the stars and went back to the room to check the news on TV, it had already become official. My dad and I watched incredulously as a newsreader on state TV read out the declaration that said the army had seized executive power. We read news flashes that said that the Parliament had been bombed and fighter jets were flying low over Istanbul. ‘Even if they should take over now, they will have to reinstate democracy at some point, and AKP will come back stronger’ he said. Here was a man who had already experienced two coups in his life time. Continue reading