Blackout drives anti-coup crowd into Konya streets

Published 30.08.2016 19:55

Mistaking a brief power outage for a new attempt against democracy, hundreds poured into streets with their flags in a central Turkish city late Monday to confront what they thought was a new coup attempt.

The blackout, blamed on a technical problem, continued for 30 minutes in the city of Konya but it was enough for hundreds who thought a putsch attempt was underway to take to the street more than one month after such an attempt killed 247 people. Grabbing Turkish flags, a crowd marched to the governorate in order to protect it. The crowd did not leave the area although the power was restored and Governor Yakup Canbolat said in a tweet that it was a simple power outage. The group was only convinced after they contacted Canbolat, who was not at the governorate at the time, by phone. Canbolat thanked the crowd in a statement after they dispersed for "their vigilance." Another group converged outside a military base in the city in order to prevent any military vehicles from leaving it, also dispersed when the coup rumors turned out to be false.

Turkey was rocked by a putsch attempt on July 15 by a junta linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and the attempt was quelled thanks to strong public resistance to the coup plotters. For one month after, people took to the streets every night in "democracy watches" after Ankara called on the public to "claim the streets" against any new attempt.

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