Harrogate expat raises crackdown concerns after Turkey coup attempt

Steve with his wife Rebecca, daughter Emma and son Adam (s)
Steve with his wife Rebecca, daughter Emma and son Adam (s)

A Harrogate expat now living in Turkey has admitted there is “obvious concern” among local over the government’s clampdown following the failed military coup.

Former Advertiser journalist Steve Parsley moved to the Turkish city of Fethiye, on the Turquoise coast, two years ago with his wife and daughter.

During the beginning of the military uprising on the night of Friday, July 15, he told the Yorkshire Post, that if the coup did eventually fail, the consequences would be “grim”.

Turkey is now undergoing a wide-ranging purge of state employees following the failed coup with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promising those involved would “pay a heavy price”.

More than 50,000 people have been rounded up, sacked or suspended in the “clampdown” and the former Harrogate resident revealed there was now an atmosphere of fear and concern in Fethiye.

He said: “We do seem to be looking at a move towards a more authoritarian regime - perhaps understandable when an attempt is made to overthrow any government.

“However, no one really knows how far Mr Erdogan will go or what impact that will have on Turkey’s standing in the world.

“We know we’re looking at change and possibly quite substantial change but , if we’re honest - like many locals - we can’t do much more than wait and see.”

More than 2.5 million Britons visit Turkey every year and, during the coup, the Foreign Office had “strongly” advised British nationals to stay indoors.

However, Mr Parsley revealed that things were now “pretty much back to normal” in his hometown and confirmed that he and his family would not be leaving the country.

He said: “There were a few low-key and non-violent demos in Fethiye over the weekend but, today, the bars have customers, the excursions are all back on and banks and shops are open.

“You really wouldn’t know there had been any unrest.

“However, as for leaving, I’d be daft to say we’re staying no matter what but it would take a lot to prompt us to up sticks and head somewhere else.

“We have made a life and great friends here and it would take quite a bit to persuade us to abandon all that and have to start all over again.”