Ottawa’s Turkish community gathered at the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa on Saturday to show solidarity after a violent coup attempt in Turkey the night before.

Selami Sahin, a treasurer with the Turkish Association to Canada in Ottawa, said he worries for his family members still in Turkey.

“The immediate thing that comes to mind is anybody in my family injured there as the count was over hundreds of people dead and 2000 injured,” said Sahin.

He was protesting peacefully alongside his wife and three daughters at the embassy Saturday.

“I’ve been watching the news, I couldn’t sleep last night, it’s really devastating and I was watching people get shot, people get run over by tanks. It’s crazy to think something like that is going on in my country,” said Sahin’s 18-year-old daughter, Ceyda Sahin.

The Turkish Embassy in Ottawa posted this message on its Facebook Page.

“The situation unfolded in Turkey was a coup attempt to overthrow the democratically-elected government. This attempt was foiled by the Turkish people in unity and solidarity. Our President and Government are in charge. Turkish Armed Forces was not involved in the coup attempt in its entirety. It was conducted by a clique within the Armed Forces and received a well-deserved response from our nation.”

Sahin said he spoke to his cousins and in-laws who are not injured, but he and many others at the protest worry the danger is not over yet.  

“A number of countries where coups have happened, the first wave have been pushed back, but the second wave came more deadly. Is there a second wave? Who knows – it’s like a hurricane,” said Ercan Kilic, a Canadian born in Turkey.

Sahin said the president of the Turkish Association of Canada, who lives in Ottawa, is in Turkey on vacation and is updating the group from the frontline.

“He was in front of the tanks, he was shot at and the tanks were shooting too. Some say they were real bullets and some say there were plastic bullets,” said Sahin.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed concern for the situation in Turkey in the following statement.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to express our concern about this evening's events in Turkey. We call for restraint by all parties. Canada supports the preservation of Turkish democracy, and condemns any attempt to subvert Turkey's democratic institutions by force of arms.

“The Government of Canada is being kept informed of developments in Turkey, and we are doing everything possible to ensure that the safety and security of Canadians in that country is maintained.”

The Canadian Government has advised Canadian not to travel to Turkey. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion, has also advised Canadians in Turkey to stay indoors.

Canadian citizens in Turkey requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Embassy of Canada in Ankara at 90 (312) 409-2700, or the Consulate General in Istanbul at 90 (212) 385-9700, or call the Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre collect at +1 613 996 8885. An email can also be sent to