A military coup is a betrayal of not only democracy but also of the very existence, honor, dignity, intelligence and values of a nation. Coups know no respect or compassion and offer nothing but oppression, hatred and military power. It is dark, gloomy and intimidating. It hijacks freedom and replaces it with captivity.
A coup is cowardly; seeks to obtain what it otherwise cannot, through the use of force, intimidation, bullying and weapons. It is pathetic, lonely and unsupported. A coup is nothing but a clear display of the weakness of those who try to use fear as weapon.
As Turkish people, we believed that we wouldn’t have to go through that disgrace again. Every coup instilled fear in the country, caused revulsion in people and dragged the country and its democracy back decades. In this country where everyone is free to speak their mind, where dissidents are everywhere, there is one thing we all agree on: We will not allow our country to be compromised in any way. Therefore, everyone that heard the word “coup” on the night of July 15 reacted strongly to this abhorrent imposition. So much so, people took it on themselves to stop this attempt from achieving its goals and they succeeded.
Let us briefly review what happened for those that might not be privy to the details. It was not the Turkish army that was behind this coup attempt on the night of July 15. It was rather a small group from the army. These criminals took the Turkish chief of staff hostage, abducted Force Commanders and took control of military posts. Those soldiers who put up a resistance were martyred on the spot. Bosphorus Bridge was occupied, and coup plotters claimed control of key locations.
This had clearly been a strategically planned operation. However, they made an important mistake and overlooked certain important points. First was the fact that the chief of staff and Force Commanders refused to support the coup. And the second was the unwavering courage of our people.
Never before in the history of the world has a nation risen to stop coup plotters. The Turkish nation showed unprecedented bravery on the night of July 15 and jumped in front of tanks and bullets in a shocking display of bravery. As the chief of staff puts it clearly: “The biggest role in thwarting this treacherous attempt was played by our great nation.” Despite the curfew declared by the coup plotters, millions of people rushed to the streets and fought alongside the police officers in the occupied areas. The resulting death toll is a testament to this bravery: We have 246 martyrs and 173 of them were civilians.
Turkey has seen many military coups. However, for the first time in its history, the Turkish Parliament has been bombed and for the first time, the people have been fired at. Tanks ran over civilians and helicopters opened fire at people. Past coups in our country had always been horrible and ugly, but our country has never seen a treachery and atrocity of this scale. It is impossible to understand the immensity of this hatred and the deep-seated hostility.
It should be particularly noted that many subordinates were forced to partake in this evil attempt, although they were completely unaware of the situation. They were made a part of this operation under various pretenses. That’s why I have emphasized this many times on the night of the coup attempt and the following days: It is crucial that subordinates are treated with compassion. We shouldn’t forget that those soldiers are our sons. Our justice minister has already made it clear that the courts will take this point into account. The Turkish people are still extremely proud of the Turkish army and its soldiers. The fact that a couple of cowardly traitors emerged from the ranks doesn’t change the fact that our army is still a very honorable organization.
There is no doubt that this coup attempt caused martyrdoms but it shouldn’t be forgotten that sometimes there is a heavy price to be paid for democracy. For this very reason, as soon as they heard the word “coup,” Turkish people reacted all together and immediately took to the streets to stop it. For the first time in many years, there was a sense of complete unity in Turkey. Secular, religious, leftist, rightist, Turkish, Kurdish, Arab, Sunni, Alawite — everyone acted together. The Turkish Parliament convened despite the coup, and all political parties acted in unity and collectively condemned this treacherous attempt. This is not due to fear, as some international mainstream media hope is the case. The Turkish people stood up bravely in unison, because they absolutely loathe military coups. The problem with this certain media is the fact that they cannot understand Turkish people at all.
After this failed coup attempt, we have right to ask these questions: Why did France shut down its consulates in Turkey right before the coup? Why were the NATO bases in Adana, Diyarbakır and Malatya at the disposal of the coup plotters that night? Although the coup failed at every stage, why did some media and NGO publications, particularly in the UK and Europe, spread false news that the coup succeeded and President Erdogan had fled to Germany?
Turkey has passed an important democracy test for which we paid a big price with our martyrs. It is very normal for the government to act with quick reflexes and take some precautions in the face of any danger of a military coup. Such precautions are necessary when traitors can emerge from within the state. Therefore, the current arrests that are made are a natural outcome. After a short while, the traitors that tried to hurt our country will be revealed and innocent people will be acquitted. Therefore, it is important not to take into account the speculations made particularly by certain international circles.
The Turkish people have seen in the past that once the democracy is derailed, the repair process is too long and difficult. That’s why they fought to maintain it, even if it meant losing their lives.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Arab News & Daily Mail News: