DUANESBURG, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local couple is now home safe after returning from Turkey right before the attempted military coup.
For the Peterson’s, Turkey is like a second home.
Barbara and David Petersen have been traveling back and forth to turkey from their home in Duanesburg for years now.
They usually go twice a year. Last year they went twice.
David collects rare pipes handcrafted from precious clay mined in Turkey.
But this trip, they just barely dodged danger twice.
Just one day after they arrived in Istanbul, the airport was attacked by three terrorists, killing 36 people.
They say they got an email from their son telling them to come home immediately, but they were determined to stay and enjoy their summer in Istanbul.
“Every year people ask us, ‘Are you afraid?’” says Barbara Peterson. “We really have never been afraid.”
Then, just as they arrived back home in Duanesburg, they received the devastating news that a failed military coup had killed more than 100 people.
Barbara says it was very difficult to watch that happen. Even before they returned home, they sensed Turkey was hurting.
“We felt really sad the entire time we were there for the people,” says Barbara. “Every time we would have dinner we felt extremely sad because there were no visitors at all.”
The Petersons say most Turks are intrigued by Americans.
“They’re just so friendly,” says Barbara. “They want to know all about you.”
The Peterson’s say, with the U.S. State Department’s latest warning for travelers, they wouldn’t go back to Turkey right this second.
But Dave and Barbara say they will keep encouraging their friends to broaden their horizons, and visit the place they like to think of as their home away from home.