One year on from Turkey’s failed coup, journalist Samet Dogan spoke to euronews about the night that brought nationwide trauma to his country.
“As soon as I got out of the vehicle under the bridge, gun fire rained down on us from the bridge and we took cover behind a car. When I got to the bridge it felt like I was in a warzone, like a scene I had witnessed while working in the Middle East.”
“People were dying and falling on the frontline, and the kids on motorcycles were moving forward transporting badly wounded people, sometimes with missing limbs, to hospitals.
“On that night they even fired tank rounds, I mean they fired on civillians with tanks.
People who know how Turkey suffered from previous coups gathered there that night and never stepped back. It was like a war scene played out in fast-forward with tanks, figther jets and heavy weapons firing.”
Eyewitness “Metin Dogan threw himself in front of a tank outside Istanbul Airport to try and stop its advance.”: http://www.ahaber.com.tr/galeri/turkiye/tankin-onune-yatan-metin-doganin-akibeti-ne-oldu He told euronews about what was going through his mind at that moment.
“I thought if people could see someone being crushed under a tank on live television they wouldn’t hesitate to come out onto the streets to resist this purge. I left home for the airport very quickly. There were two tanks, patrolling back and forth in front of the airport. I ran quickly in front of them. When I was running, I was screaming at them “I am a Turkish soldier, in which army are you?”
“They then started to move forward, so I quickly laid down in front of the tank. I started repeating Kalima Shahadat (the Islamic testimonial word one says before dying). As the tank approached I was totally at peace. My heart-rate was normal, blood pressure normal. In a second, I thought, I was going to meet my with the creator.”
“Just before the tank stopped, it was so close to crushing me. I said, this is the end for me. After it suddenly stopped the tank was swinging like it was in a cradle. The tank track was touching my head, my shoulder. After July 15, I consider myself a dead man walking. Any day could be my last. That’s why I spend all my time for my country, to make Turkey stronger.”