Europe

'Turkey has changed': Women on the failed coup

A woman takes a selfie in front a damaged Turkish military APC in Ankara on 16 July, 2016 Image copyright AP

Friday night's attempted coup shocked Turkey, a country that has seen four governments toppled by the military since 1960.

Thousands of soldiers, police and officials have been detained or sacked.

Turkey's Western allies have expressed concern and urged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to respond in a measured way.

We spoke to women about the mood in the country today.

'I remembered all those fearful stories about the coups in 1960 and 1980'

Cansu, 26, Istanbul

When I heard the news, I was quite worried about how to get home, first, since I was about 20km [12 miles] away from my home.

After that, I remembered all those fearful stories elders tell us about the coups in 1960 and 1980.

It took me two hours to get home.

Now, I feel very distracted and very pessimistic about the future of Turkey. I can still hear the roars of jet planes, in my head.

Many of my friends and all members of my family feel very desperate too. My friends think they can't manage to live in this "new" country.

Some of them are planning to apply for jobs in other countries.

I am totally hopeless about living in Turkey. I don't think there is any common sense and consciousness left in this country.

I hope I can live in another place, any place that has common sense and peace.

Image copyright Getty Images

'Today, we stand for democracy'

Elif, 20, Ankara

When I first heard the news of the coup, I thought that this attempt would not be successful, because the people of Turkey appreciate their government and its leader.

So, as you see today, we stand for democracy.

The picture we deliver as a nation today, to the world, is a lesson for everyone who thinks that Turkey is ruled by a dictator.

Days after the attempt, I feel more secure in my country, because I know everyone is for democracy. You don't have to have fear in a country where democracy rules.

We are bound to each other like never before. Most of the people in Turkey, like my friends and family, think the same.

People work in the morning and stand at night for democracy. That will be the ritual for one week. And every following day, there are more people who participate.

I hope my country will be governed like that in the future, too. I hope the enemies of Turkey will be imprisoned.

Image copyright Getty Images

'It's become much harder for modern women to live here after Friday night'

Aysegul, 36, Istanbul

I couldn't believe what was happening when I heard the sound of the jets. I thought a war had broken out between Russia and Turkey.

Then, when I learned it was an attempted coup, I was terribly scared.

Now, I feel even more scared because this might be the beginning of a Sharia state and the end of democracy and secularism.

My friends and family think exactly the same way. We are the minority here, those bearded violent men could kill us any time.

I'm, of course, dead against a coup, but the alternative is not better either.

Turkey has changed, this coup has paved the way for a complete autocracy.

I don't have any hopes whatsoever about Turkey. I fear the worst is yet to come.

I think it's become much harder for modern women to live here after Friday night, because we have seen the might of the bearded middle-age Islamic tribe.

I placed a headscarf and a long shirt in the glove department of my car in case I'm surrounded by them.

Image copyright Getty Images

'A successful coup attempt would have been a tragedy for the country'

Yildiz, 26, Istanbul

When the coup began, I was coming back from Vienna and had just landed in Ataturk airport. It was a surreal moment, not only for Turkey but for the world.

I couldn't believe what was happening. I was with friends, and we were all scared.

There were tanks outside waiting for us. So we were stuck for several hours - until a group of brave people, waving Turkish flags, walked past the soldiers outside and escorted us out.

A successful coup attempt would have been a tragedy for the country and the region.

The lesson is that Turkish democracy is strong. People don't just blindly follow the government. Let us hope that when foreign media looks at our country, they see beyond the government, to the people.

If it wasn't for those ordinary people who came to the airport, I wouldn't be talking to you today. The people have set an example by defending democracy.

Image copyright AFP

'Coups don't bring good things, but we are desperate'

Joy, 30, Istanbul

First of all I was happy when I first heard about the coup, because I know it is almost impossible to remove Erdogan from the presidency.

You know how they support him - like a messiah.

I know coups don't bring good things to Turkey, but we are desperate.

I feel alienated from the people in the days after the coup. I don't like some of the people we see in streets. I guess you saw some of them - the Islamists. They will be stronger after this.

I know this will change in time. Those people behind the coup will be honoured one day.

It will be more complicated for women too. It is even now hard to live your way of life as a secular woman sometimes.

I don't think it will be good. I don't want to live in Turkey. I've lived in the US for two years and gone to Europe many times.

This country is sinking. I fear that one day I'll regret staying here.

By Nathan Williams, BBC News

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