Veysel Kara and Mustafa Yildirim
IZMIR / GUMUSHANE, Turkey (AA) – Uzeyir Civan, one of thousands of Turkish citizens who poured onto the streets the night of July 15, 2016 to fight off a coup attempt, told Sunday how proud he was to defend his country even at the loss of an arm.
Civan, currently living in Gumushane in Turkey’s Black Sea region, was in Tuzla in the metropolis of Istanbul the night of the defeated coup when he was shot by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) putschists.
The defenders of democracy who thronged the streets would not stand idle in the face of traitorous FETO soldiers even at the risk of losing their lives or limbs, Civan told Anadolu Agency.
“I thought I could convince them to return to the barracks by telling them what they were doing was wrong,” Civan said.
“'Stop! Drop your weapons, we’re all brothers!' I shouted.
“I ran towards them even before the people next to me were shouting 'Soldiers are brothers of the police,' but they started shooting at me, aiming at me.”
Civan remembered his hand getting injured, and how later, in the hospital, that injury cost him his arm.
“Thank God I lost my arm, not my country. We didn’t deliver our homeland to traitors,” Civan said.
“I’m alive, but I could also die for my country.”
Orchestrated by the terror group FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen, the defeated 2016 coup left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur