ISTANBUL， July 16 (Xinhua) -- "Last night in Taksim area nobody could sleep a wink for the gunfire sound and for the fear，" said Hacizade， the owner of a restaurant on Istiklal Avenue.
The Taksim area， with a homonymous square at its center， and the adjoining Istiklal Avenue， a pedestrian street teeming with shops and malls， have been must-sees for both locals and foreign tourists.
A sense of terror and violence reigned there on Friday night when an army faction announced that it had "taken over the administration of the country to restore the rule of law."
A group of troops appeared at the square soon after and snatched its control from the police， while hundreds of Turks poured there following a call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for people to take to the streets to protect "democracy."
"Go to your barracks where you belong!" the crowd shouted at the soldiers.
Things turned even nastier as military planes started flying low over the city， followed by massive explosions and heavy gunfire that had bellowed across many parts of the metropolis overnight.
From Friday night till the morning hours of Saturday， snipers had been positioned behind every possible structure to shoot the police and civilians， an eyewitness said.
Hacizade and his friends joined the crowd to show solidarity with the police， but heavy fighting erupted soon between the soldiers and the police， he said.
"Civilians were shot， several died，" Hacizade said， displaying the stains of blood on a Turkish flag he was holding in his hand.
"My friends have died， my friends are in hospital，" he added. "Look， you can still see their bloods."
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday that at least 161 people， including 20 coup plotters， were killed and 1，440 others wounded in the coup attempt that swept mostly Istanbul and Ankara， the national capital.
Previously Turkey's acting army chief Gen. Umit Dundar put the number of deaths at 194， among them 104 plotters.
The Turkish presidency made a new announcement on Saturday on its twitter account claiming there could be a new attempt any time soon.
The presidency in its tweet urged people to flood the streets again to protect them.
Murat Ertekin， a man from Turkey's western city of Izmir， disagreed. In his view， it is very dangerous for civilians to swarm the streets as the move fuels violence.
"It would definitely fuel violence， which mostly would be observed in the form of executions，" he said.
"What is going on in Turkey since last night is very worrying，" he added.
In the view of Hacizade， Erdogan will soon push stronger for a presidential system in the country in the aftermath of the coup attempt. "And nothing will get any better，" he observed.
Years of troubles both at home and abroad have hurt Turkey a lot， while a series of deadly attacks over the past year have contributed to a growing predicament.
"Our country has fallen apart，" bemoaned a man who declined to give his name.
He harbors no hope about the country's future， saying the economic deprivation will affect all the most.
"Our business has long been disturbed significantly due to the terror attacks，" he noted， adding
"From now on we will have zero business." Enditem
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