“My brother has been heavily wounded after he was shot by the coup plotters on the night of July 15. He is still in a coma,” Hassan Halid Dervise, Omer’s brother, tells Anadolu Agency.
“There was news saying a coup was occurring. Later, President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan appeared and he made a call to take to the streets.
“This is not just a matter for Turks, but also a matter of freedom, justice and humanity. So we had to abide by the call. We owe this country. We had to stand with [Turkish] people”, Hassan said.
Hassan likened the situation to the first time in Syria when people demanding their freedom were shot.
After the call to take to the streets made by Erdogan, the Syrian brothers went to a municipal building in Istanbul’s Fatih district to support protesters trying to stop military vehicles and soldiers attempting to take control.
“When we reached the municipal building, a group of soldiers had surrounded the building. Those soldiers suddenly began to open fire on the crowd,” Hassan said.
“My brother Omer moved to the front to shoot a video…a bullet tore off his lip. It was not a serious wound, just bleeding. We, with our friends, carried more wounded people to the safe place where cars were stationed,” he said.
After they carried wounded people to safe places, the brothers turned back to the front line when special operations police officers came to neutralize the coup plotters in the building.
“We walked with the crowd. A few police [officers] had to be encouraged by us. In the last fire, we were very close to the area where soldiers were stationed.
“I was trying to stick together with my brother but the soldiers suddenly began to fire on us. I lost my brother and friends when the crowd dispersed,” Hassan said.
Hassan said that he phoned his brother but Omer did not respond. Later, Hassan’s friends found him and said that the plotters had shot Omer who had been taken to hospital.
“We all ran to the hospital. He was in the intensive care unit. He had been shot from behind while fleeing... He is still in critical condition,” Hassan says, adding that he feels troubled for other people who were wounded, as he grieves for his brother.