Flights resume to Istanbul international airport
Flights into Istanbul’s international airport have resumed after being halted for nearly 24 hours by the failed coup attempt.
By late afternoon Saturday, mostly national carriers were flying into Istanbul, but other airlines preferred to wait one more day to test the precarious security situation.
Late Saturday, the usually buzzing airport was eerily quiet with some stranded travelers sitting on the floors of the largely empty terminals.
Daniela Shebar-Shapira, an Israeli social worker who was on a layover en route to a family vacation in Thailand, said many people in the transfer area ran and hid under tables when mayhem broke out Friday night, fearing at first that another terrorist attack was under way at the airport. Later, she spent most of the night hiding in a toilet with her husband and three children. At least three explosions could be heard outside the airport, and hundreds of supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan marched into the international hub to protect it from a takeover by the renegade military officers.
"We wanted to avoid the kids seeing something. So we didn’t go out," she said. "Till now we are very afraid." It wasn’t until early Saturday that the family learned from relatives in Israel that it was an attempted coup.
Late Saturday, jets appeared again in the skies over Istanbul. A Turkish official, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said 5 F-16s were patrolling Istanbul airspace