The Story of #TurkeyUnited

On July 15th, 2016, around 10 pm! I saw a notification from a news application on my mobile device’s screen. It was about the news of the closure of the both bridges of Istanbul. At first, I thought it could be because of some official works. After 5 minutes, a friend of mine called me and said “Where are you? You know what happened? A military coup has just started! Open the TV!” I was schocked! What was the reason to do that?

I saw on the TV that the soilders blocked the ways of the bridges. It was looking so ridiculous. Then, I started to zap among the news channels. On one of the channels, the city president of Istanbul of AK Party was speaking, through a phone call. He was in the city building of Istanbul of AK Party, and telling that the building had been surrounded by the soilders. After he said he was inviting all the city people to the city and district buildings of AK Party to guard, I closed the TV, got my clothes on and run to the car to go to the district building of Basaksehir of AK Party.

When I arrived, I saw a small crowd both in and in front of the building. Nevertheless, nobody knew what to do, everybody was in schocked! They were telling each others that the prime minister had told this was an unsuccessful attempt of a small group in the army, instead of a complete military coup! We all were praying for the good news. By the way, everybody wants to hear some words from R. T. Erdogan, the president of the republic of Turkey, or to know that he was in safe! In those minitues, a manifesto that notifies the army got the entire control of Turkey and a curfew started was read on the TRT (The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) channel. Thankfully, we saw Erdogan on another TV channel. A newsreader was holding an iPhone and taking to him via Facetime application. Even though we did not know where he is, he was looking fine and inviting all the people of Turkey to the main squares and airports of the cities to block the attempt of coup. After his speech, all the streets became crowded. People quickly went to the airports, main squares, AK Party buildings, government buildings, military barracks and the police buildings.

Yes! We did! We got the victory without guns! The police and the public acted together and we got rid of the coup. However, it was not so that simple. Everything started with a helicopter attack in Marmaris/Mugla to the hotel in which President Erdogan was on vacation. They shot the hotel with machine guns. Thankfully, Erdogan left the hotel just 15 minutes ago. On that night, the tanks crushed the people who want to block the coup, the soldiers shot the people who were trying to approach, F-16 warplanes bombed the parliament, helicopters shot the people randomly. As a result, we had more than 240 shahids and more than 2.190 woundeds.

So, who were these traitors? And why did they do this attempt of coup?

After the attempt of coup, arrestments started. In a few days, after the acception in the parliament, Erdogan has declared a state of emergency for three months. According to the minister of interior’s statement, 15.846 people were arrested and about 10.000 of these people are soldiers (the arrestments are still increasing.). In these people, there are 178 generals. In addition, not only the soldiers, but also 2.901 police officers were arrested, as well.

The confessions of the criminals and the evidences of the attempt of coup points the FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization). The leader of this organisation is Fethullah Gulen who was born in 1941 and has been living in Pennsylvania for 17 years. He looked like the leader of a well-known religious order. Especially, after the confessions of the criminals, we can now obviously see that he was the leader of a terrorist organisation set in more than 168 countries. The FETO got their own people in the army, the police and the judgment. The organization also has hundreds of schools all around the world. Now, with the state of emergency for three months, these schools were all closed and transferred to the ministry of education. In the public, more than 60.000 people who were thought connected to the FETO were suspended for their jobs (this number is still increasing, as well.).

Though all of the military barracks were got in control back, people continued waiting in front of the certain places (the military barracks, squares, airports, police buildings…etc.) for 3 weeks, as a duty, just in case. After that, on the 7th of August, with the call of the President Erdogan (He is also the supreme commander of the country according to the law) about 5 million people became together in the square of Yenikapi of Istanbul for a rally to say no to military coups. This was a unique rally, because it was the first time for this much of a crowd in our history. In addition, for the first time in Turkey, the president of the republic, the president of the parliament, the prime minister, the leaders of the main opponent political parties and the public from all of the views became together in a square. And the last surprise of the rally was the participation and the speech of the chief of general staff.

The Rally in Yenikapi/Istanbul, on the 7th of August, 2016

If we back to the night of the 15th of July, not oly AK Party voters, but also almost all of the opponent groups were on the outside, though it was after the midnight. I know you started asking the questions of ‘how’ and ‘why’. The only and actual answer is this: We do all know what a military coup means, from the past; and we do also know what the homeland is! Although we have different political views, we become united if it has to do with the whole country!

Selman CELIK
A citizen of #TurkeyUnited