When Şerife Boz, 50, heard a coup was seeking to overthrow the Turkish government she jumped inside her truck and drove as many people as possible to the squares across Istanbul to protest the violent putsch.
"I can drive the truck. I felt that I was going to war. I chanted [the] whole night and the next day," said Şerife.
"Me and my children and grandchildren took to [the streets of] Taksim Square," she added.
Şerife was quickly accompanied by her friend and neighbor, 61-year-old Sema Tutar, who said she wanted to resist the military tanks in the streets amid the coup attempt late Friday.
"We took to the street because of our children's future. We protected our country and I hope that we will have [a] better future," Sema said.
A photo that emerged of Şerife and Sema sitting next to each other in the truck, went viral and became the symbol of anti-coup protests that helped suppress the deadly coup attempt.
Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım cried when he saw the photo of the two women in the front seat of the truck, carrying protesters who were waving the Turkish flag.
Şerife said she would "go anywhere with her truck if only President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Yıldırım would ask her". The putsch occurred when rogue elements of the Turkish military tried to overthrow the country's democratically elected government.
THE PAIN OF THE BULLET IN MY HEART
'EVERYBODY BECAME A FIGHTER THAT NIGHT'
Adviyye İsmailoğlu, 14, asked herself what was going on when she saw a video showing soldiers blocking the bridge. Her mother Sevim İsmailoğlu, 43, didn't believe it when she heard the anchor reading out the announcement of martial law on TRT 1. Sevim İsmailoğlu feels proud when she talks about their experience on that night. "I told my husband to go out and observe what was going on in the streets. I told him we should take to the streets if need be. The inspiration for the family was my daughter Adviyye. She immediately encouraged us to take to the streets, and, when the president also called people to do so, we performed ablution and left with two of my daughters and my husband," she said. The family was among the first group to arrive in the middle of the firing line in the Saraçhane district. Her children were fighting on the frontline. "I felt like we didn't have our feet on the ground. It was a blood bath. Putschist soldiers raked through everyone, including children and women, with G3 rifles. People were falling on the ground after being shot in front and behind us," she described these moments with her eyes full of tears. Adviyye was one of them, shot in her shoulder while she was trying to help someone. Her mother Sevim's eyes filled with tears once again when she described these moments. "Her dad held her and saw how deep the wound was. The bullet had horribly shred her back. She was treated in an intensive care unit for two days. They think they gave us pain, but in fact, we are proud of what we experienced that night," Sevim said.
Adviyye and her elder sister Rabia İsmailoğlu, 18, were on the frontline the whole time. When Rabia saw that her sister was shot, she couldn't believe it first. "What I saw on the streets was courage, devotion to our nation, power of faith and cooperation. They shouldn't think that they took a part out of my body when they shot me. It is actually like a medal that I will carry proudly for all my life. Because I filed a complaint against them, I will be able to stand before those soldiers and ask them how they think they would be able to seize and govern a country, while they even couldn't deal with a 14-year-old girl. I want to ask them this question," Adviyye said. Having previously published a storybook, Adviyye is thinking about publishing a book depicting what happened on July 15. They now call her "veteran girl." Meanwhile Rabia emphasized the power possessed by the youth. "We showed them on July 15 that we, as youth, will never surrender our country to traitors," she said.
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