Hundreds of people turned up to Takasim Square to watch a televised speech from President Erdogan
From the nations’s 85,000 mosques, their amplified voices were heard calling upon the faithful to take to the streets and defy the plotters. The people listened.
Some bravely stood in front of tanks as they defended the democratically elected president. Around 240 from both sides died and 1,400 were injured.
In Matalya, a sprawling city in Anatolia, once the heartland of Christianity in the East, they targeted a Protestant church.
The word church is a grand term for the small, modern shopfront nestled in the city’s minority Alevi district.
Gangs chanting “Allahu akbar” rounded on it to smash its glass frontage. “The attack on the church was light. But it’s significant that it was the only shopfront attack in those three days,” said its minister, Pastor Tim Stone, last night. “We were the only targets.”
Nor was Matalya alone. In the Black Sea city of Trabzon others attacked the Santa Maria church, smashing windows and using hammers to break down its door.
The events of that Saturday night were not new for either city. In 2007, three Christian employees of a publishing house for bibles in Malatya were attacked. After being tortured, their hands and feet were tied and their throats cut by five Muslim assailants.