Several weeks passed since one of the darkest days in world history. Many details related to the attempted coup in Turkey came to light in this time. The Turkish nation gave 240 martyrs in total in the events that began on the night of July 15th and lasted until the morning of July 16th. The number of wounded has reached 2,200. More than 9,000 soldiers participated in the attempted coup d’état in which 35 airplanes, 37 helicopters, 246 tanks and armored vehicles, three ships, and over 4,000 light weapons were used. Most of the unranked soldiers were asked to leave their barracks under the pretense of a military operation or a struggle against a terrorist attack. On that dark night, those martyred were not shot in an armed conflict; almost all of them were unarmed, innocent civilians. Some were crushed by tanks, some were executed at close range, some became the target of bullets rained down from helicopters, and some could not escape from jet bombs.
After the coup d’état, the Turkish nation honors the martyrs on every occasion as an expression of gratitude and feels the justified pride of having heroes who put up a fight for democracy with a love of God and country by risking their own life. Yet, we, as the Turkish nation of 80 million, expect our friends abroad to commemorate these innocent people who actually were peace-loving heroes of democracy. We want to see not only friends of the Turkish nation but also peace activists across the world, people of democratic mind-sets and civil society advocates support this justified, good, and legitimate struggle. The world should enter a period where a pro-democracy mind-set prevails against coups.
Today, we see that the MENA region where Turkey is located is being reshaped. New borders are emerging with civil wars, coup d’états, terrorism, and invasions. Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Ukraine, with whom Turkey has historical connections, were pushed towards civil war after direct or indirect military interventions. People who had lived together for hundreds of years virtually became each other’s executioners. Millions of innocent people lost their lives, cities were destroyed, and countries were split apart. The most important weapon of those who put these bloody plans into practice was to pit brother against brother.
The ultimate target of what happened in Turkey on the night of July 15th was to create a civil war environment as well. The target was to create a polarization and conflict environment in Turkey just like it was planned and executed in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. However, millions of Turkish people, young and old alike, pouring into streets to ward off the coup d’état thwarted this plan. During the night of coup d’état, as well as those who voted for the ruling party, there were also people supporting the opposition in the streets. There were atheists as well as religious people. Sunnis, Alewis, Jaafaris took a stand against tanks. Every individual from all sections of our nation, whether they are Kurdish, Cherkes, Armenian, Turkish, Laz, Albanian, or Bosnian were on the streets. During the democracy watches after the failed coup attempt, our people filled the squares in 81 cities and hundreds of districts. During these watches, which were like a festival, millions with different thoughts and beliefs stayed up all night as brothers.
This national unity and amity is a nightmare turning into benevolence, blessing. No doubt, this is a good example for the world and set a barrier against the attempts to polarize these lands. On the night of July 15th, the Turkish public chose unity, solidarity, amity and brotherhood. This preference also reflected on politics. On the night of the coup d’état, after the President of the Republic, opposition party leaders Kemal Kilicdaroglu and Devlet Bahceli called people to stand up against the coup d’état and take to the streets for democracy. While the parliament was bombed by pro-coup planes, the members of the parliament from every party gathered inside to stand against the coup d’état. In the historic congress held the next day, not only the ruling party but also the opposing parties signed that they were against the coup d’état in unison. During the democracy watches, none of the party flags was on the scene. Slogans of the parties were not shouted. Millions were united under one flag -Turkish flag.
For the public meetings against coup d’état, the CHP (Republican People’s Party) gathered hundred thousands who voted for them in one of the most important squares of Istanbul - Taksim square. Upon invitation, supporters of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) participated in the public meeting. During the biggest democracy meeting held in Istanbul on 7 August, all party leaders took part together with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister. Most importantly, as a first in Turkish history, Chief of the General Staff delivered a speech in a civil meeting with a mighty cheer from the crowd.
Moreover, the President Mr. Erdogan and opposition leader Mr. Kilicdaroglu withdrew the lawsuits they had filed against each other. Mr. Erdogan took one step further and had all current personal libel suits –except for a few- dropped. Together with all these pleasant news, everybody in Turkey started to mention that classical politics period is over and the new period will be built upon the spirit of mutual love and brotherhood.
From now on, this part of the world should not be synonymous with coup d’états, civil wars, and attacks where Muslims martyr one another. Bombs, weapons, fear, and terror should not dominate the lives of millions of Muslims.
Islam does not preach violence and death, but peace and love. Muslims uniting under the roof of love, respect, and brotherhood the Qur’an commands is the only way to stanch the bloodshed in the region. This breakthrough will make the world safer, more stable, and more prosperous.
The friendly environment after an undesired attempt such as a coup d’état enables millions to be hopeful about the future not only in Turkey but also in the entire Islamic world. We are sure that we can overcome any kind of difficulty when we stand united.
We hope that this sound judgment the Turkish nation displays serves as a model for the whole world.
Adnan Oktar's piece in American Herald Tribune: