A Coup? What was it like in Istanbul 2016?

Three years on, July 15 continues to be etched in people’s memory

REPRINTED THANKS TO: ŞEYMA NAZLI GÜRBÜZ@SeymNazliISTANBULPublished15.07.201900:07Updated15.07.2019

People stand their ground against the tanks of the coup plotters, July 15, 2016.

People stand their ground against the tanks of the coup plotters, July 15, 2016.

The coup attempt has its place within the Turkish people’s minds as one of the most catastrophic days for the country, with some even defining it as an ‘apocalypse’

There is no doubt that the bloody coup attempt of July 15, 2016, has marked its place in Turkey’s recent history as one of the, and maybe the most, significant challenges that the republic has faced. The official numbers on the night and its aftermath alone show 251 civilians killed during the coup attempt and thousands charged afterwards for having links to the terrorist group behind it, the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), tell the importance of this night in the republic’s saga. The real story of July 15, however, lies in average people’s memories, especially the youth, who still recall the shocking development of the events and define the day as the “apocalypse of the country.” “I remember every detail of that day,” said 35-year-old Mehmet, who recalled having an ordinary evening with his friends in Taksim, the heart of Istanbul.

“Normally in Taksim, there would be some security forces present. However, I realized that day there were none, which seemed suspicious to both me and my friends. Yet, we assumed that there was some kind of a bomb call or something like that,” said Mehmet, adding that he did not pay much attention to this at the time. However, Mehmet’s peaceful night did not last long as a friend called and informed him that there was a coup attempt. “At that point, I screamed. ‘What? A coup? In this century?'” Mehmet cried again, with enthusiasm, remembering those moments. Mehmet’s shock was actually a very common feeling, especially among the younger generations of the country, as others also expressed similar feelings while recalling the dark day.

“When I first heard that there was a coup, I was in shock. I suddenly felt very helpless. In a million years I never would’ve guessed that such a thing would occur,” said 25-year-old Neslişah. “Yet,” she said, “It did really happen.” Despite the surprise of the youth, Turkey is actually not a stranger to coups as there have been four of them, starting in 1960. However, the latest one took place in 1997, when Mehmet was only a child and Neslişah was just three years old. It also had a different pattern than its predecessors and was called a “post-modern coup” as it did not have soldiers walking around and taking control over places. Instead, the coup took place via a series of “recommendations” from the military to the era’s government. When the 1990s were left behind, however, things seemed quite smooth, especially after the rise of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which created an atmosphere that seemed to insure the elimination of coups from the country’s politics in people’s minds. Thus, when the July 15 came, and it was revealed that this was truly a coup attempt, the waves of shock spread all around the country very quickly.

“When I finally realized that this was really a coup, I decided to go home. On my way, I crossed paths with some local tourists, who were hitchhiking and scared. I welcomed them into my car. However, soon after, the coup plotter soldiers stopped me and did not allow me to go on. So I had to continue on foot,” said Mehmet. For Mehmet, the next couple of days became full off sadness, surprise and complexity. The very next day after the coup, he had to attend a funeral of his neighbor, who was killed during the coup attempt, and then leave his shock behind and start to participate in public occupations of squares that lasted for a while after the coup attempt as a signifier of the people’s victory.

‘IT WAS LIKE A PAUSE TO NORMAL FLOW OF LIFE’

“If things had not gone as before, my life would have crashed. For a moment, I felt very threatened,” he said, recalling his feelings.

In Neslişah’s opinion, the day was like dealing a big blow to the normal flow of time and pausing it somehow.

“I thought that my future was taken away from me,” she said. Remembering the day after the coup attempt, Neslişah said that she had never seen people in Istanbul in that way.

“I was staying with a relative so I had to leave the house to go home. However, I felt very nervous and couldn’t make myself leave the house. And when I finally stepped outside, I remember seeing blankness in people’s eyes, a reflection of something unforgettable that just happened. I remember seeing tanks everywhere and feeling chills all over my body,” she asserted with a trembling voice.

According to Kaan (26), the day was like the “apocalypse of the country.” Indicating that he felt nervous at first, Kaan said that when he saw President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan calling on people on TV, he felt relaxed and confident. “I thought that they are [the government] doing something about it. I found it [the president’s speech] very effective,” he said.

“I stayed up all night. I felt concern for my future and my loved ones, who might have been in danger at that time,” Kaan said, adding that it had only been a month since he started his first job when all this took place. “I questioned if I’d be able to go to work on Monday. I thought ‘what the hell, is this my luck or what’?” he asked, underlining that he felt very unfortunate and desperate for awhile.

The thing that gave Kaan his self-confidence and trust that there will not be coups no more, however, was the discharging of groups and people from public offices that might have caused such a threat.

Since the coup attempt was quelled, thousands of people have been detained or arrested for FETÖ links and actively participating in the coup attempt. The Interior Ministry recently announced that 30,709 people were taken into custody for their links to FETÖ following the coup attempt and another 19,329 people were convicted of FETÖ membership and related crimes.

How do you see the world around you?

I always find find photography to be an inspiration in my writing. I use places and people that I meet along my way to create characters and locations for my stories. My walk in Istanbul yesterday morning and the tram ride to Sultanahmet Square in the afternoon, are great examples.

I’m currently working on Code Raven 7 which features Turkey and the Middle East. One of my key characters in this book is a DJ named EM+EM. He’s currently on the trail of terrorists after a horrific event during his wedding the night before. He is taking a jog from Kariköy to the Blue Mosque and these are photos of things he would see during his run.

I hope you enjoyed a slice of my life. If you wish to see more, please join me on Lynda Filler Author and/or Lynda Filler Creates on Instagram

Code Raven 7 is untitled but will be out late fall. In the meantime, don’t miss the fun! LYNDA FILLER AMAZON Code Raven Prequel it’s $.99 and gives you the background on who is Luke Raven?

I refused to die!

If you were writing a memoir about your life, what story would be the most important to tell? Lynda Filler, Writer, Novelist, Top QUORA Writer 2018 at Lynda Filler Author (2009-present)

I published my first memoir, LOVE The Beat Goes On, in 2017 because I wanted to save lives. No, I’m not a medical doctor, nor do I have any kind of certification. But in 2007/8 I had a series of events that turned out to be Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

So let me take a moment to give you some back story so you will understand why ‘saving lives’ became a mission in my life. Women tend to neglect their health. It’s not unusual to self-diagnose and keep on going. Unfortunately for me, I was having attacks/gasping for breath and assumed that I was allergic to allergy meds. With what I know today, it’s possible that the allergy meds triggered the attacks. But I never went to the doctor! This went on for almost a year until I sat on a bench in a ski resort in Whistler, BC unable to breathe and suddenly it dawned on me I was having a heart attack.

There were so many lessons to share about my fight to survive, my determination, and my unorthodox methods of healing. People often ask me what I did—I have to respond, get the book! The information is there.

AND it’s on S A L E for $.99 cents.

LOVE The Beat Goes On $.99 AMAZON DEAL https://amzn.to/2Fol8eG

What followed my diagnosis was a series of events, my emotional reactions, my body’s resistance to medication, a cardiologist who advised me I had six months to live, and an amazing Irish GP who reminded me: “You know you can heal yourself.”

I wanted to tell my story, shout it out to the world, because if my body could heal from an “incurable” situation, maybe yours can too. You might not have a heart issue, it might be cancer, or it could be depression or any other ‘dis-ease’.

I began writing my book in 2009, but someone said to me: “What if your healing doesn’t work? What if you die?” So I stopped writing, and put the manuscript away, for several years. Then I had a Dr. Wayne Dyer experience that thrilled me and let me know that it was time to get my story out there. And from the emails, texts on FB, Twitter, or responses to my website and YouTube videos, I know I did the right thing putting my personal life on display. But I must tell you, writing a memoir is super scary: when you write a memoir, there’s nowhere to hide.

Now it’s 2019, I’m traveling the world. Currently in Istanbul, Turkey. I know I’m going to die someday. And it might yet be heart-related. My life has always been heart-centered so I expect that’s how I will exit this particular realm. But while I’m here, my desire is to share my story, my beliefs, and to live life to the fullest. I want to inspire others to do that too!

Photo Blog 2 Istanbul!

She said what? Girls hanging out.
The Boys in Sultanahmet Square. I’d love to take a Turkish coffee with you!
Turkish Delights? But of course!!
Ohhhh, I’m so tempted. Just one more please!

If you would like to know more about my life, and what has inspired me to sell everything and travel the world, please pick up a copy of

LOVE The Beat Goes On on Amazon.

Every single day of my life since 2008 is a gift! #Gratitude

We live today tomorrow we die. What’s the meaning of life?

When my younger son was a teenager, he said something to me that has stayed in my mind: We’re here for a good time, not a long time. I think none of us know how many years or days we have to wander this planet, so we should live each day as if it’s our last.

I recently liquidated my life in order to travel. I’ve lived in Mexico for many years and since I started writing professionally, I’ve met people from all over the world. It opened my mind to opportunities to see a world that I’ve only ever read about or observed in film. Nothing prepares you for the real culture of another country, nor the kindness of a countries’ people. You must experience this.

I have a mantra that’s been running through my mind for the last couple of years: We are all one. If the Universe is to survive, it’s not about climate change but about a definite shift in how we see each other and the tolerance we have for each nation and culture around the world.

The birth of the www. gave us an opportunity that no prior generation ever had. It opened the door to the possibility of friendships from all over the world. These friendships forge the way for us to understand that regardless of the color of our skin, the languages we speak, we have a common thread running through our lives: love. We all wake up in the morning, study, grow, form family, have children—or not—worry about our families, careers, putting food on the table, our health and our love. We are all one.

At the end of my life, I know that all that will matter is how much I loved.

https://www.quora.com/We-live-today-tomorrow-we-die-Whats-the-meaning-of-life/answer/Lynda-FillerMy answer on Quora

What are your 10 commandments for creative people?

  1. 2. 3. ABC Always Be Creating.
  2. Creativity is the way I give back to the world.
  3. Share. Too many ‘creators’ never think they are good enough. You are good enough! Share with the world!
  4. Be imperfect !!
  5. Look at things upside down and inside out. See your world from a different perspective. Back to #3
  6. Embrace your imperfections. Make mistakes—_){ it’s how we get better
  7. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Shine your light—it was given to you for a reason.
  8. BE grateful for your gifts. They are special. You are unique.
  9. Be curious about life, the world, people, things
  10. I live in my own little world—they know me there.
Photography Paris Street Art 2019

Does Happily Ever After Exist?

It’s been a while since I worked on a novel. I have four storylines that are competing for my attention, and I can’t seem to focus in on one over the other. So I get my dose of daily writing when I hang out on Quora for a bit. I thought you might enjoy my answer to a rather shallow question. It might be TMI, but then, those of you who know me understand that I’m an open book, a work in progress, and a constantly evolving woman.

This month I’m packing up my life. I’ve sold everything and will begin a journey to places I’ve never been. I have a set departure and a few locations in France, India, Turkey, and Israel that are booked. But once I arrive in Bangkok, I will be free-falling… I have no set date of return to Mexico, although my friends who’ve become a family, believe I will return. I’m not sure.

This is going to be an interesting time. I will blog, post photos here and on IG, FB, Twitter. And I’ll do live videos on FB and my YouTube channel. I promise it will be fun, and a bit crazy. I see the world in strange and wondrous ways.

Back to Quora and the question I couldn’t resist answering: Am I shallow to want to date a woman with a fuller figure?

We all have our preferences. Some of us take a lifetime to truly understand what we like. I’m attracted to eyes. They mirror not only the soul but kindness and mischief. When a man looks at me with ‘those eyes’ I’m in trouble! And a very good kind of trouble it is!

So first it’s eyes, then it’s soul, then it’s brains—I love smart men. They’re usually cocky and annoying and can make you feel inadequate in a way that’s rather adorable. They are adult men with this immense sense of wonder about the subjects that fascinate them. And even though the subjects may be way out of reach for me, I’m wildly attracted to the light, that almost childish sense of wonder as they work through their discoveries, day after day.

And then there is sexy. That comes in all shapes and sizes but I definitely have a type in that area too. I won’t reveal myself because then I’d be at a disadvantage. I get a reaction, an immediate jolt when I find someone attractive. It’s generally mutual. If it’s not, I ignore the feelings and move on.

Am I shallow? Yes. In some ways that I won’t go into here. I have definite physical things that work for me and I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t fit into my likes. Maybe I will one day…

I’m still looking for ‘the one’ who makes my heart sing, speaks to my soul, who will love me and show me that happily ever after truly exists.

Why travel?

India

I’m embarking on a journey-of-a-lifetime. In the next 48 hours, I will book my destinations! So many people have asked me why I’m going. Why now?

I’ve sold all my possessions, and yes, I’m taking my photos, and small family heirlooms. So my blogs/vlogging/books/photography will take a different spin over the next six months. Get ready. I promise you it’s going to be amazing and I’m taking you with me!!

Why travel? Her’s what AirTreks have to say:

1. Traveling is easier than you think.

We believe that traveling around the world shouldn’t be hard: it’s actually something everyone should be able to do at least once in their lives. Whether you choose to spend a few years or just a couple months traveling this beautiful planet, it’s important to see what’s out there. It’s up to you to make the dream come true and take the first step. Launch TripPlanner to piece together and price your ideal route. Not sure where to start?  You can always call one of our travel consultants and get some complimentary advice!

2. Travel opens your eyes.

If you’re open and willing, travel will make you an incredibly more well-rounded human being. And that’s really the goal, isn’t it? If you don’t know where to start, check out our Around the World planning guide.

3. Traveling helps you learn who you are.

Bali

All the challenges and opportunities travel lays at your feet help you discover who you are in a way that’s only possible on the road.

4. Travel creates meaningful relationships

People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, and force you to take in new and refreshing perspectives, and ultimately realize that everyone is the same.

5. Traveling develops skills you didn’t know you had

Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize you you’ve got skills you’ve never used. It’s travel that brings them to the surface and makes you smile, satisfied to have reached the mountain top, or  crossed a gorge  or helped a villager clean up after a storm, or even to have successfully ordered a meal at a rural Chinese restaurant.

6. Travel helps you learn new languages

There’s something satisfying about being able to throw around a few words of Greek, knowing how to say thanks in Thai, pulling out that long dormant Spanish to book a room in Santiago, or simply hearing a language you didn’t know existed just a few weeks before.

The Dome of the Rock

7. Travel means adventure

Zip-lining over the jungle canopy in Peru, successfully navigating the maze-like streets of Venice, bartering for the best price in the traditional markets of Marrakech, taking a speedboat ride in New Zealand, or hopping in a Land Rover and heading out to watch animals grazing  in Tanzania: these are adventures worth having. People are hardwired for the excitement of adventure and travel may just be the best way to tap into it.

8. Traveling gives you perspective

Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view might have some major blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your grip on reality.

9. Travel helps you move forward

If you’re between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, around the world travel can be a perfect way to move from one of these life stages into your next great adventure. A big trip won’t just ease your transition into the next stage of your life, it’ll give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.

10. Travel is education

Seeing the world provides an education that’s absolutely impossible get in school. Travel teaches you economy, politics, history, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will.  Fortunately, the school of travel is always taking applications, no entrance exam required.

11. Travel challenges you

Getting your daily latte at the same place and staring at your screen at your nine-to-five every day not nearly interesting enough? Even if you choose to work on the road (and keep staring at the screen), you’ll have to find a new place to drink your latte, and depending on your destination, finding coffee, and foamy milk or a good place to sip them could prove to be a sizeable challenge. Travel is full of moments of joy and challenges. Overcoming the challenges gives you some of the greatest joys of all.

12. Travel shakes things up

It sucks to be stuck in a rut. Everyone knows what that’s like. A big trip can be your perfect solution. Fly around the world, stopping over in all of the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Go ahead and plan your ideal route around the world (it’s easier than you think!)

13. Traveling proves that dreams do come true

You imagined it, daydreamed about it, envisioned it. Guess what? It can be done. Around the world travel is possible, you just have to decide you’re willing to take the first step and start planning your itinerary.  What are you waiting for? We’ve put together some specials to inspire you to live your dream.

14. Travel gives you cool stories

Let’s face it. Even for folks who can’t tell a story, just the words “last year in Mongolia” get you instant party points.  Even when events seem trivial, nostalgia and distance create an irresistible spin that makes mundane things like getting your laundry done in Zanzibar, entertaining. Just don’t be that person and overdo it!

15. Travel is literally food for thought.

You’ll be constantly surprised at the flavors the world has to offer.  The way people in other cultures and countries prepare food, and break bread together (not that all cultures even eat bread) will astound you.

16. Travel gives you a sense of accomplishment

If you’re the kind of person that dreams big, you’re probably one to reach for new challenges. Finishing a trip gives you the satisfaction that you were able make a goal to travel and  accomplish what you set out to do–see the world.

17. Traveling for the hell of it

Why travel? Because you can. Because you want to. Because it beats the alternative (staying home). Why not pick up your tickets and get the ball rolling!

Bali Mountains

Should an author put all her Book-Eggs in one online basket?

Lynda Filler Author 

Yikes, this weekend saw so many authors with books that dropped out of the Amazon system. I experienced half of my novels directly “not available for sale,” or they disappeared altogether. I don’t know what happened, but apparently, it was a technical issue. If I lost sales for 3 days, can you imagine what this international glitch cost the company in lost revenue?

But, after all that, I finally got SHOOT ME up and running, linked with the paperback and the ebook on pre-order. But the question remains, should an author put all her book eggs in one online basket? I don’t know. The top authors are not too upfront about this specific issue. Are the other online retailers responsible for a large percentage of sales? Or do they represent single digit percentages?

Read any book you want for free?

Yes, at the moment, I’m a total Amazon groupie–loving the fact that half my revenue comes from readers who have Kindle Unlimited and read my books for free–and I still get paid! Check it out!

Readers’ Favorite Best in Contemporary Fiction 2018

In Lie to Me, an exposé on sex for money  I introduced you to Layla an American writer who has an insatiable curiosity about the men in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico who sell their bodies to vacationing women. Yes, it is as interesting as it sounds. Who wouldn’t want to know how a male prostitute feels about his life and the clients he services.

Tomorrow I head for Miami, Florida to receive the 2018 Bronze Award for Contemporary Fiction Social Issues for Lie to Me. I will be posting from the Miami Book Fair, and the Readers’ Favorite Awards show. It should be so much fun. A wonderful side benefit will be the interaction with fellow authors that I only know online.

I’m also excited for my new release book 2 in the series, SHOOT ME, on pre-order for .99 cents this week!

 Purchase NEW RELEASE  $.99 CENTS

Layla wakes up one morning to an empty bed in steamy Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 
She drowns herself in wine, espresso, and pot but nothing seems to dull the ache of losing Mateo. A change of scenery in the trendy city of Guadalajara might be the answer.

Insert Pablo, a hot young fashion photographer.
Add forty-something writer Layla, her pink stilettos and her insatiable appetite for hot young men.
Complicate things with Omar, a musician, and a one-night-stand.
Enter Mish a University student who is relegated to the friend zone in Layla’s life. But will he stay there?
Then invite the cartel boss’ son to a private opening of the fashion photographer Pablo’s latest erotic exhibit.
A bomb goes off, and the action goes into overdrive.

If you love sexual-tension, and a complex series of titillating and exciting twists and turns, you will want to read Shoot Me. 
Layla is a woman with a heart who keeps searching for love in all the wrong places.
Will she finally find it?   

BUY SHOOT ME on Amazon