Wednesday July 15th will mark the 4th anniversary of the heinous bloody coup attempt perpetrated by a small faction in the Turkish Armed Forces. On this day, we will commemorate the utmost sacrifice made by The Turkish people who gave their lives for the protection of democracy, freedoms and constitutional order.
On the evening of July 15th 2016, Turkish people lived through an ordeal that was unprecedented in Turkish history: The Bosphorus Bridge was closed by tanks and unarmed protesters were shot and killed at the very same spot. Tanks rolled on the streets, running over people. Helicopters fired at civilians protesting the putsch. Jets bombed the Parliament, the Presidential Palace and Ankara Police HQ. An elite squad was sent to assassinate the elected President. The terrorist plotters also raided major private and state media, either to force them to announce the messages of the plotters or to silence them.
However, when H.E. President Erdoğan called on the people, tens of thousands of unarmed civilians poured into the streets to protect Turkish democracy and its legitimately elected government. A vast majority of the armed forces stood by the citizens against the plotters. The success of the Turkish people’s resistance in the face of a military coup attempt stands as a unique example in history.
This was not only the bloodiest coup attempt in Turkish history, but also the most organized terrorist attack, which Turkey had ever been subjected to. The coup attempt failed, leaving behind 251 deceased and over 2000 maimed or wounded.
It is now evident beyond any doubt that the coup attempt was led by a network of terrorists in military uniform supported by some civilians and groups known to be affiliated with the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization” (FETO) who infiltrated and disguised themselves in state institutions.
Turks from all backgrounds and political views thwarted the plot in historic solidarity as they stood bravely before the tanks reclaiming their democratic rights. The Turkish media also played a key role in foiling the coup attempt.
Resilience and the determination of the Turkish people to protect their democracy made it possible to avert the coup staged by FETO terrorists.
United together against this violent conspiracy, all political parties and Members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (Parliament) stood firmly by democracy, legitimate democratic institutions and the Constitution as reaffirmed in a Joint Declaration issued during the extraordinary meeting of Parliament on 16 July 2016.