One year ago on July 15, the people of Turkey lived a night of extreme atrocities. A group of deranged terrorists, disguised as Turkish soldiers, tried to take over the country and turned their deadly weapons on innocent Turkish people that bravely stood their ground.
The truth is that the coup plotters had a very detailed, carefully planned strategy. They secured almost all key positions in the army, bought numerous henchmen to help them in their nefarious attack, had some of the world’s most advanced tanks, jet fighters, helicopters, machine guns at their disposal (which were by the way, paid for by the Turkish people) and had dark connections in various countries, who were excitedly waiting for the coup to succeed. But they failed.
However, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, proved that he was a true leader and refused to give in, no matter what. Although a group of assassins equipped with bombs, anti-tank rockets, phosphorus bombs, 167 grenades, 8 automatic guns and more than 30,000 bullets were after him and his family, he called a TV channel by Facetime and urged people to take to the streets.
Turks had never given into pressure, or were subjugated in their history. Obviously, they weren’t going to do it now. So, as soon as they heard their leader’s call, they poured into the streets. From grandfathers and grandmothers to elementary schoolchildren, from housewives to teenagers, hundreds of thousands of passionate Turks poured onto the streets to defend their country and democracy.
However, the coup plotters were so depraved, no one could see what was coming. The traitors that posed as Turkish soldiers, without blinking an eye, ran over innocent, completely armless people with tanks and indiscriminately firing at them from helicopters while dropping bombs.
However, it is quite possible that if it hadn’t been President Erdogan’s and Turkish people’s brave stance, the coup plotters could have taken over the control of the country and plunged the entire region into turmoil. But this didn’t happen; as a couple of hours passed, Turkish people stepped up their resistance, and jumped in front of tanks. As people shouted ‘if this is not the day to die, when is it?’ the traitors realised their mistake.
As President Erdogan put it, “Turkish nation fought the world’s most advanced weapons with their faith. There is no other example of this. They stopped the bullets with their chests.”
One year later, that honourable night was marked all around Turkey with joy, pride and honour. The Bosphorus Bridge, now named ‘July 15 Martyrs Bridge’ after 36 brave patriots were martyred there, saw the most glorious celebrations. Turkish leaders, celebrities, politicians and up to 6mn Turks beautified the roads leading up to the bridge. All together, they lovingly remembered and honoured their 250 martyrs, and 2,193 gazhis (injured). A year later, people again came to the bridge, but this time to keep vigil for democracy. The iconic bridge looked like a beautifully illuminated field of red roses with millions of Turkish flags proudly held.
President Erdogan unveiled the memorial built at the July 15 Martyrs Bridge, which is a nine and a half metres tall limestone structure with a pentagon dome. Inside the structure, names of the 250 honourable martyrs are etched. The President then flew to Ankara, and spoke in the Parliament that was bombed by the coup plotters. Following his speech, Quran recitation took place in front of the Parliament and our people one more time showed that Turkey would never allow any coup to happen again.
In addition to Istanbul and Ankara, millions of people celebrated the saving of their country in cities of Turkey. When asked, they all said that they would do the same thing if anything similar happened today. It should be noted that the Turks spent that entire night awake, standing guard for democracy. They did not go back to their homes, instead spent the night outside, stood in solidarity and showed their commitment to their country and leader. In other words, the spirit of July 15 was strong as ever, if not stronger.
Usually, when there is a coup in a country, presidents are overthrown, governments are shut down, and parliaments are closed. But this time, it was different. This time, democracy won, this time civilisation, freedom and faith won. President Erdogan, refused to bow to imminent death and the Turkish people that trusted him, managed to avert the coup attempt. And now with these rallies, President Erdogan is ushering in a new era for Turkey. July 15 will now be the symbol of a new Turkey, a new direction for a better, brighter future.
The Turkish nation, who saved their country one year ago, went to work the next day, without expecting any thanks or praise. They proved their loyalty to God, to their country, to each other and to their leaders. With the rallies of one year later, they proved that plots, invasion plans, dirty politics against Turkey would fail no matter how detailed and covertly planned.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan