When your destiny leads you
I traveled from Rome to Istanbul the day before and wanted to spend a few days in Istanbul with my brother and his wife.
I booked a room at the Holiday Star Hotel Istanbul and had a nice day. On the evening of July 15, 2016, we drove to Çamlıca Hill to have some food.
It was a quiet and pleasant evening and we did not notice anything. Neither the people in our environment nor any staff from the restaurant have let us indicate something …
How we learned about it
After we ate and took some photos of Istanbul we went down and down we saw a group of men with turkey flags in their hands jumping around and screaming Ya Allah bismillah allahuekber!
My brother was skeptical and asked us what was going around. I said in response that a football team has certainly won a match and that’s what made them happy. My brother denied that, however, and asked me to check with his cell phone what is going on. I’ve only been on google.com, searched for Turkey and after a silence of about 10 seconds just said: coup…
Let’s get away…
It did not take 5 seconds for me to say a coup and we could already hear the hunter jets fly overhead. You can imagine that this was a completely different feeling than sitting in front of Youtube and watching fighter jets …
The first thing that came into our heads was to leave the country and when it’s time, to get back in again. Unfortunately we’ve learned that the borders had been closed too. At this point we were still driving about here:
We first had to go to the European side of Istanbul to pack our things and then we wanted to go to central Anatolia to our family and acquaintances. Luckily we got the last ferry that went to the European side this night.
You can not imagine how busy the streets have been.
Finally we drove over to the hotel of my brother first, so that his wife started packing. While his wife was packing, I went to my hotel with my brother and we also packed and checked out.
The peace in person
At the hotel I told the receptionist that I would like to check out and he only meant that I would find him in the lounge when I finished packing my things. After I packed my things and went to the lounge, he was sleeping.
I still had to pay for the airport transfer but my money was still in the hotel of my brother. When I brought the money over, the man on the roof terrace was ready preparing breakfast in peace. I can still remember exactly how he stood there and cut the cucumbers. I said that I wanted to check out because of the coup and he just looked up and said: Because of this? That’s all over.
F-16 above the head
If you have not been to Turkey at that time and want to feel like how it has been, I ask you to get you very good headphones, plug them in and make your cell phone / laptop whatever the highest volume. Then Play the following video and close your eyes.
If you think that’s overkill, let me tell you one thing. After every explosion sound produced by breaking the sound barrier, I lost orientation for a few seconds. I did not remember where up and where down was.
Get out of Istanbul
We packed our things, checked out and now only had to find a way to get back to the Asian side. The bridge was closed with tanks and soldiers. So it was impossible to get over from there.
We drove to the ferry and talked to the gatekeeper. He said he organized a ferry but that we ourselves are responsible for our safety. He said that the army has ordered that no ferries should run and that there is a danger of being shot down. We agreed and took the ferry.
Finally it’s going forward
It was the longest ferry trip I’ve ever had in my life. Every time a hunter flew over us, my pulse speeded up noticeably and I was expecting only the worst. A bomb and we are gone.
Arrived on the Asian side we drove further south and have repeatedly seen roads and highways, blocked with trucks. Then we had to turn in the middle of the highway and drove as a kind of ghost driver back to the next exit.
Then we are back on the highway and there we have seen a blocking with police and blue light. In this situation we have done the same again and turned over. MAN, I was afraid that they will drive behind us. Because there was a check-out.
So we went to Pendik and took the ferry to Yalova. There we could switch off properly for the first time.
My brother said that he knows a good location in Bursa and wanted to show me this location. So we drove there. I can not remember exactly where it was but it was on a mountain in Bursa.
We had breakfast there and my brother asked me where he should drive me. He went to a wedding and I wanted to visit a friend in eskisehir. It was on the way so he let me out in Eskisehir and drove to Afyon.
I stayed in Eskisehir for a few days and my friends showed me Eskisehir. A very nice city. While there is not much to see, the beauty of a city does not make the city special but the hospitality of the hosts.
That was the first time that I was in a warlike situation. Breaking the sound barrier from the jets sounded like they bombarded something every time. Even experienced men could not distinguish the sounds.
Under these circumstances, you ask yourself what you could have done better in life, assuming that at any moment a bomb explodes near you and your body parts may not even be picked up.
I’ve learned so much. I got to know my brother better, the friend I visited, and I’ve learned how to stay cold-blooded in stressful situations.