Local Turkish Americans speak out against military coup

APTOPIX Turkey Military Coup
Turkish soldiers secure the area as supporters of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan protest in Istanbul's Taksim square, early Saturday, July 16, 2016. Turkey's prime minister says a group within Turkey's military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup. Binali Yildirim told NTV television: "it is correct that there was an attempt." (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Turkish Americans in the Miami Valley came together Saturday to speak out against the failed military coup. Turkish Americans meeting in Dayton say they want peace restored in their county. And they want to know that anyone involved in the coup, will be held responsible.

“We need unity among our community,” Turkish American Community Center President Islom Shakhbandarov said. “We need solidarity among our community.”

And they’re hoping to fulfill that need by coming together and finding strength in each other. At this point, Shakhbandarov says he’s running on fumes.

“People have been calling me all night,” Shakhbandarov said. “I didn’t sleep. We’ve been following the situation in Turkey. It was very dangerous. And Therefore, they decided to come here and get the mood and more detailed information.”

Nearly 200 people have reportedly been killed as a result of coup. Shakhbandarov says they want the U.S. to take action against the man they believe is responsible.

“We call for our government as American citizens to quit helping this terrorist,” Shakhbandarov said. “Quit giving refuge to this terrorist.”

He’s talking about Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen–who lives in exile in Pennsylvania. He’s the same man the Turkish President is blaming for the attempted coup.

“We want him to be released and sent back to Turkey,” Shakhbandarov said. “He is a national treat to our country, the United States of America.”

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