Attempted coup

Meet the women who reported on and fought the failed military takeover in Turkey

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JULY 16: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks on CNNTurk via a Facetime call in the early morning hours of July 16, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

When Turkish military forces attempted to stage a coup on the night of July 15 to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, female Turkish journalists delivered the news of the takeover to the rest of the country. Inside the state-run TRT television station, armed forces held broadcaster Tijen Karas at gunpoint and forced her to read a statement about the coup, martial law, and a curse aloud on air to viewers throughout Turkey.

“It was the most difficult broadcast of my entire life,” she told the press later. “The armed soldiers rushed into the station, tied our hands back and threatened us with their guns.”

On CNN Turk, Hande Firat was the senior broadcast journalist responsible for interviewing Erdogan using the iPhone app Face Time as he fled the coup and plotted his return. During the interview, Erdogan urged the Turkish people to “take to the streets.” Firat later said she called all of her sources in Erdogan’s inner circle to get the interview.

Elsewhere, female protesters and police officers took to the streets as the struggle for power continued throughout the night. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told the press that he had seen a photo of two women, one in a headscarf and one without, driving a truck to fight the supporters of the coup.

“This is a photo of solidarity to protect democracy,” he said.

Read the full story in the Hurriyet Daily News.

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