“This Is What It Was Like Inside CNN Turk The Night Of The Attempted Coup”

“All throughout the night on Friday and early Saturday, the channel broadcast live on television and streamed online in real time. For nearly an hour, CNN Türk broadcast a live scene of an empty anchor’s chair with the sounds of people screaming and fighting in the background. That was when CNN International, France 24, the BBC, and even Iran’s Press TV began tapping into the live feed, broadcasting the surreal events to a world struggling to understand what was going on…
Recep Capci, a security guard at the building, said soldiers who entered the building demanded he hand over his Kalashnikov assault rifle. He refused and instead called the police. “If they took my gun and used it to kill someone, I would be the one responsible,” he said.
“I called my wife, and said soldiers are about to arrive here,” said Erdogan Aktas, the station manager. “I told her to be calm and get the kids away from the television.”…
Aktas had drawn up a plan in case putschists or anyone else tried to shut down the broadcaster. He would have a technician input a code into the control room that would make it impossible to stop the live feed. Even if they knew how to operate a television news control room, they wouldn’t be able to shut off the live feed. He also would instruct journalists to use Facebook Live to stream video directly onto CNN Türk’s page, which has more than 1.4 million followers.
Once the putschist soldiers entered the building and ordered CNN Türk employees to cut off the live broadcasts, the journalists banded together to keep the broadcast going, or at least delay their entry to give Aktas time to put his plan into play. A confrontation ensued. “They were screaming, ‘Leave the building. Cut the broadcast,’” Akkus recalled. “We were saying, ‘This is wrong. You must leave.’”…
Armed with assault rifles, a contingent of cops soon arrived at the CNN Türk building, demanding that the soldiers hand over their weapons (police mostly stayed loyal to the government throughout the coup attempt). The soldiers were reluctant to comply. Suddenly a mob of 200 angry pro-Erdogan supporters arrived, demanding to enter the station and take the soldiers away. CNN Türk journalists were under no illusion that the crowd was there to uphold media rights.”
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