‘People not afraid, remember history’: Turkish journalist says no popular support for coup

© Huseyin Aldemir
Speaking over the phone from Istanbul, local freelance journalist Alaattin Kilic told RT he thinks Turkish people bravely opposed armed soldiers because they remember the price of military coups. The government seems to be regaining control, but the situation remains uncertain.

“It is in fact table tennis. The airport seems to be in control of the government right now but in the next hour we do not know what is going to happen.”

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“It’s almost impossible to comprehend the situation, who has the control of the government, who is losing control and who is backing who,” he added, saying that Turkish citizens seem to support the elected government, he stressed.

The majority of the people, the reporter argues, still back the incumbent government, even if they do not agree with the political course it pursues.

“We [can] surely say that the people are with the democratically elected president whether they like him or not even the opposition parties have given their support to the president Erdogan as well.”

READ MORE: ‘Not going anywhere’: Erdogan gives defiant Istanbul airport speech, downplaying attempted coup

The fact that people took en masse to the streets despite an imminent threat to their lives shows they do not want yet another coup to endanger stability in the country.

“We are talking here about millions of people in the streets who rush forward answering the call of the prime minister in a way to give a response to the military intervention as they very well remember what earlier military interventions in this country have done to their family members, economy of the country, politics and the future of the country.”

The journalist noted the bravery many Turks have shown in defending the constitutional order.

READ MORE: Military take media hostages at Hurriyet, CNN Turk offices – reports

“There was a footage I have seen that the soldier was shooting at air, people were running against him, and when people were so close he stopped shooting anymore and there was a clear message from people that we are not afraid,” he said.

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Kilic says the military used scare tactics to keep people off the streets. “While I was doing a live with RT… I was able to hear planes flying so low to create immense noise, to scare all the people in the street – and me as well, I have personally experienced bomb noise,” but no confirmation followed, he says.

“The reason these people united is we have a deep history with military interventions and coups  d’états in Turkey,” he said, explaining that a lot of people still remember the coup 36 years ago, which is a dark stain on recent Turkish history. “So, no one seems to be wanting that kind of military intervention to overthrow a democratically-elected president."

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.