UT teacher and PHD student in Turkey during attempted rebel military coup
A University of Texas teacher and PHD student said he was in the middle of Taksim Square in Turkey when an attempted coup happened Friday night.
36-year-old Tim Fleisher is in Istanbul right now certifying Pilates instructors. He said he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when the attack happened, but luckily he's okay. ‘I was down, and I thought this is it, this is how it's going to end. You know you hear all the gunshots, and everything else; I didn't know what to think. That was the scardest I have ever been for sure. I looked outside and everybody was kind of running and trying to take cover,” he said.
The attack left more than 250 people dead. “You didn't want to be there. That was on the floor, and I thought, the sonic boom was hitting where the plane breaks the sound barrier, I thought it was a bomb. It wasn't about being an American, this was just something that if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time you were in trouble ,” he said.
Fleisher said he's been to turkey before and loves it but it's much different from when he's been there before. “I just want this to end. You don't know what's going to happen, nobody does, and the country is really on angst. There's a lot of tension, he said.
Fleisher said he tried the u-s embassy. “They weren't really much of a help, so, kind of like if you can get out, get out.” But getting out is something he's not able to do right now. He's off to Switzerland next to compete in the Iron Man competition and was hoping to get on an earlier flight. “The airport is kind of a mess right now so I am just waiting.” What he really can't wait for, is to get home. “Yeah, I love Austin, it's the best right?”
Fleisher said he is staying his bosses house away from Taksim Square, until he leaves for Switzerland. He said he will be back home in Austin in a little over a week.