Local Turkish community speaks out on coup

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - The attempted military coup in Turkey, Friday, had Turkish families across South Florida tuned to their TVs.

Hasan Kochan and other Turks watched CNN Türk in Kochan’s Hollywood restaurant, Istanbul, named after the Turkish city.

Kochan said he had already contacted his family in Turkey. “The army almost taking over… and there are some news stations, channels already captured, he said, “so first thing I think about is them. What’s going on? What’s happening over there? So I contacted them. Everybody is safe in my family.”

The military uprising in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, led to tanks in the streets, gunfire, explosions and jets in the air.

Diliband Akman watched the scenes anxiously with her family in the restaurant. “We don’t know the details yet, honestly. It just happened a couple hours ago,” she said. “We may need to wait and see what’s going to happen.”

Akman’s mother and sister live in Istanbul, and are in Miami visiting for two weeks. Their flight is scheduled to leave Saturday.

The visitors said emails are their only to communicate with loved ones back home. “Something has happened suddenly, and I’m shocked,” Didema Akman said. “I’m always checking my emails and my messages.”

The U.S. embassy in Turkey has told Americans to be cautious, but uncertainty and confusion set in at the Hollywood restaurant.

The airport in Istanbul has been shut down, leaving passengers stranded at Miami International Airport. Didema Akman said they will stay try to go back on Saturday.

“We will try to go back. I’m still checking, I’m still curious. I wonder about my country now, of course,” Akman said. “Tomorrow, I want to go and see what is going on.”

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