What should the people of a nation do if their democratic government is under threat from its own military? Should they run for their lives, or save the life of their country? How far can the military go in its urge to take over a nation? These questions were lingering in the mind of every citizen of Turkey on July 15, 2016. It was at night when people who were out on roads saw military vehicles, armored trucks, and even tanks line up to close down Ankara, Istanbul, and the Bosphorus Bridge. That is when people reacted.
The night of July 15 marks the anniversary of a failed military takeover by the Turkish army as people gave their everything to stop it. Coup, which was allegedly led by Fethullah Gulen, met a remarkable resistance, not just by the police or pro-government ranks within the army, but mostly by local citizens. Thousands of people stormed out of their house to block roads that led to the Parliament, Intelligence Head Quarters, Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, and Erdogan’s residence and location to protect their democracy. People lied down in front of trucks and tanks to stop them from proceeding, but the merciless army rolled over them, missing their body by inches. Here is a perspective of Erdogan:
Erdogan called on to his nation to rise against this coup by going out on streets, town squares and every center for resistance. Within minutes people were out and marching towards the army with no weapon at all. Airforce was called to lead an airstrike against police stations to control resistance, and news channel stations were taken over in order to stop broadcasting.
The army was adamant in removing Erdogan and they did not hold back to civilian resistance either. In fact, people who swore to protect the nation were the ones who killed about 249 people and injured thousands as army opened gunfire and missile strikes against the resistance.
People, holding up Turkish flags, did their best to take back the areas controlled by the army. In fact, the Ataturk Airport was soon released from the traitors as hundreds of people marched and pushed out the plotters. Soon President Erdogan arrived and addressed to the nation there. Such was the intensity of resistance that the main army deployed at Bosphorus Bridge surrendered and soon the whole takeover broke down within a few hours. Here is another aspect of what happened a year ago:
The President was quick to point out the perpetrator as Fethullah Gulen, who moved to the U.S since 1999 after imposing self-exile. He also pointed to his Hizmet Movement and Gullenists. For a country who has seen four coups and three attempted coup, this one, in particular, was very disorganized, and hence, destined to fail. Erdogan, loved by many and hated by an equal number, called for unity against the destruction of future. Past coups in Turkey have always brought more harm to the nation than good, convincing even the opposition to support resistance. In the morning of July 16 and since then, hundreds of supporters of Hizmet movement have been released from duty and even a higher number of soldiers have been arrested for treason.