LINCOLN, Neb. Last week, tanks rolled through the streets of Istanbul and the Turkish capital of Ankara, during an attempted coup that has since fizzled. However, there is still plenty of damage left behind.
One University of Nebraska at Lincoln professor was in Turkey and provided a unique perspective of life in the country during these tense times.
Michael Hoff is a professor of art history, and has spent the last twenty summers in the country on multiple archeological digs.
In that time, he says he's seen four different presidencies, an evolution of the notion of democracy, and now a failed military coup.
Hoff was 6 hours south of Ankara l when he and two colleagues received word of the attempted coup.
“Every possibility, everything that could have happened, went through our mind,” Hoff said during an interview with 10/11 News. “We had to prioritize what we had to do.”
The team of three was traveling to another dig site on the southern coast, unsure of what dangers may be ahead. Luckily the situation quickly dissolved.
“I know there were a lot of deaths and a lot of injuries but it could have been so much worse,” Hoff added. “It could have sent the country into complete civil war.”
Hoff has witnessed the evolution of attitudes in Turkey first hand.
“Attitudes have shifted in the country towards a more conservative lifestyle, or i should say politics,” Hoff said.
Hoff is currently still in Turkey, but he made it clear that he feels perfectly safe in the Turkish coastal town.
He's set to return to the states on Aug. 20, two days before he begins teaching a full state of classes at UNL.