Turkey is now recovering from the failed coup attempt of July 15th. That dark day turned out to be a milestone which will never be forgotten in this lifetime thanks to the intense efforts of the fearless Turkish people thwarting that horrendous attempt. During that night, 240 people including 173 civilians were martyred and 2,195 were injured
The Turkish people never left the streets even after the coup attempt failed and were on guard every night in the streets non-stop for the entire month. Then, on August 7th, people from eighty-one cities attended rallies in city centers and in Istanbul alone, five million people participated acting as a single spirit. It was the most crowded rally in Turkish history and one of the largest ever seen in recent times. People, regardless of faith, political views, or sects, hand in hand poured into the streets as one heart. Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Circassians, Laz, Armenians were present waving Turkish flags. President Erdogan along with the leaders of the three main political parties gave messages of unity, solidarity and democracy. Millions gathered in the crowds gave a good lesson to the entire world by acting as one nation, one body and one voice against the coup attempt, terror an intervention. This complete picture shows us that the old Turkey is being replaced with a new one with a more positive, constructive, conciliatory political model, leaving behind the tense, separatist and polarized policy.
"I congratulate the Turkish nation for the defiance they showed against the coup-plotters. They showed the people of the region that they would not allow democracy and their rights to be taken away from them through coups and the use of force." These words belong to Foreign Minister Javad Zarif who visited Ankara recently after the coup attempt. He reiterated his support to the Turkish nation against the coup during the joint press conference he held with his counterpart FM Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara. Another beautiful thing to remember from this visit is the sincere salutation of the foreign ministers by embracing one another and calling each other brother instead of saying their names. We hope that Iran and Turkey, the two strong Muslim castles who are able to protect their unitary structures, will always stand united against the threats to the region. Foreign Minister Zarif’s stance against the coup attempt manifested itself during the night of the coup attempt. Along with the Turkish nation, FM Zarif stayed up all night to follow the developments via phone conversations with his counterpart Cavusoglu several times to glean accurate information and give his moral support as a friend. Turkey will always appreciate his kind gesture during the times of hardship. Additionally, FM Javad Zarif made an empathic statement, referring that 100 years ago in Iran, their Parliament building was also jeopardized by an attack through his visit to the Assembly building that was bombed several times by the F16 jets.
During this visit, FM Zarif had meetings with President Erdogan, Prime Minister Yildirim along with his counterpart Cavusoglu. During the long meetings they held together, they alluded to many topics including the ongoing war in Syria. Despite the fact that there are some ideas of conflict, the positive features they commonly share are enough to play the key roles to end this bloodshed. It is noteworthy to take into account Russia’s role in this important task and consider an alliance of Turkey, Iran and Russia to take solid steps. President Erdogan’s visit to Putin in St Petersburg a few days before FM Zarif’s arrival in Ankara was a historical meeting in terms of regional stability. This convergence is a major gain for Turkey and Russia will keep on being its ally just like it was in the past. FM Zarif also noted Iran’s positive stance on this advancement and soon Turkey, Iran and Russia officials will hold a meeting in Baku as a sign of their approval in this alliance on all sides.
The Caspian Sea region is homeland to a majority of Muslims other than the Middle East or North Africa. It is considered to be a buffer zone between the West and the East and Russia and Azerbaijan are strong allies establishing the stability in the region. Russia has attained a deep-rooted place in the Middle East throughout the years and strives for ensuring integrity of Iraq and Syria. Since Azerbaijan is a brother country for both Turkey and Iran, its being a part of an alliance between Iran and Turkey will be very much acknowledged. This union will substantiate the power to bring an end to the atmosphere of war in Syria, Iraq and Yemen at once. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has declared Turkey’s new foreign policy to be in the direction of increasing the number of friends and diminishing hostilities. Furthermore, FM Cavusoglu stated that despite their differences, Turkey and Iran should fortify their alliance for permanent peace in Syria. Additionally, FM Zarif propounds that both countries are in consensus in preserving the territorial integrity of Syria and for the Syrian people to act on their own future. There is full agreement in terms of reaching mutual terms on differences of opinion through discourse.
Both President Rouhani who visited Turkey in April 2016 and President Erdogan have started to take solid steps in their alliance. This bloody coup attempt and the occurrences which happened in its aftermath will accelerate the necessity of a strong alliance given the political and military situation in the region. Since Iran and Turkey have the social, cultural and faith-related means to make a strong cooperation, which will allow their defense powers increase incrementally. Moreover, during FM Zarif’s visit, both foreign ministers stated that the security and the unity of both countries were of the utmost important and if one country is attacked, they would assume it as if it is done to their own.
What the Middle East, which is the most strategic region and the most difficult geography in the world, awaits is an environment where states and nations mutually trust, respect, protect, love and embrace one another. The regional peace lies in the cooperation of powers like Russia, Iran and Turkey. No doubt, a stable alliance of these regional powers will be the guarantee of peace, social justice and democracy.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Tehran Times