President Erdoğan’s relative forms platform against possible coup attempts
Fatma AKSU - ISTANBULPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan’s father-in-law, Orhan Uzuner, has formed a platform to prevent a “possible coup attempt.”
The platform, “Kardeş Kal Türkiye” (Let’s stay as brothers, Turkey), aims to bring people out on the streets in the event of a possible coup bid, according to Uzuner.
“Our concern is the survival of the state. The fact that a coup against the state would lead the country to domestic turbulence and chaos is accepted by everybody. We asked ourselves what we can do against all those dangers,” Uzuner told daily Hürriyet on Feb. 21, adding that getting people out onto the streets “during a bad event” is on the agenda.
“We want people to go out on the streets, just like what happened on July 15,” he said, referring to the July 15, 2016, coup attempt that was widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
Saying that they aimed to reach people through Whatsapp and a smartphone application called “Zello,” as well as the radio, Uzuner said the platform consisted of volunteers.
“Turkey was faced with a treacherous attack on July 15. This attack was prevented by the foresight of our president and the ability of our people. We formed a group consisting of volunteers in order to produce ideas about what to do about a possible threat against the president and how to inform the people if a coup attempt takes place late at night in order not to face a coup attempt like that. I initially formed a WhatsApp group and shared the idea with my closest friends. I then sent it to some 1,000 people. Nearly 500 returned my message and three WhatsApp groups were formed,” he said.
Uzuner said members of the platform were using “Zello,” which is open to everyone.
“If a coup or an earthquake takes place, we will be able to talk to the people from here,” he said.
Praising Hürriyet Ankara Bureau Chief Hande Fırat for connecting to Erdoğan through Facetime during the thwarted coup, Uzuner said they would do “what Fırat did.”
“During the coup attempt, Erdoğan gave a statement to Anadolu Agency but that didn’t reach the people.
Hande Fırat, with a brilliant intelligence, ensured Erdoğan reached the people without violence through Facetime. That’s our starting point. We will do what Hande Fırat did,” he said.
Uzuner also rejected claims that “they had formed an armed militia group,” adding that his words had been misunderstood.
“I’ve never had a weapon. I don’t even have a licensed one. I didn’t say weapon [in the meeting], I said siren,” he also said.