I got many e-mails from my friends and colleagues who live abroad. They worried about us and also had a great great confusion because of the conflicting news appeared on the newspapers. I agree with them that it is not easy to realize what the truth is from a distance while even some in the country could not realize what happened.
On that evening, we suddenly noticed that there was an attempt of coup. Firstly, tanks appeared on the bridges which connects the two continents across the Bosphorus, as well as in the entrance of Atatürk and Esenboğa airports in Istanbul and Ankara, respectively. Later, the coup forces seized control of the state broadcaster and announced that the army was now in charge. We did not want to believe in what we heard on TV’s. It should be a joke and could not be possible in Turkey in the year of 2016. The air was very heavy. The infollution on social media was also disturbing. Supporters of the coup, and also the antagonists of the president and the ruling party, began to quote some news on the success of the coup.
The Prime Minister announced on some TV channels by phone call that this was a coup attempt organized and orchestrated by a minority within the Armed Forces who affiliated to Gulen Movement, the Gulenists. With the appearance of the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the oppressive air was changed in favor of democracy supporters. He called people onto streets on CNN Turk via mobile phone. He said that no force can stand the power of the people. We saw that he was right. Thousands of Turkish citizens who took to the streets that night — despite the warnings of the coup plotters to stay indoors and obey the curfew — gave the clearest message: Those who came with elections, will leave with elections. The vast majority of people of all political persuasions rejected this violent campaign. All political parties represented in parliament came out clearly against the coup attempt.
The coup forces did not have any other option than opening fire to suppress the civilians on the streets in response to the president’s call. The generals, officers and even cadets who were affiliated to the Gulen Movement were ordered to stage a coup and use every means, including killing people, to finish the job. It was the deadliest and bloodiest coup attempt Turkey has ever had. They used jets and helicopters to bomb their own people, and the parliament. They crushed their own people with tanks. They also aimed to kill the president. But, fortunately, they failed.
The opinion by Michael Rubin published on that night was noteworthy. He praised coups and referred the death of the president to get rid of ruling party. Here are some extracts from his opinions, “While any coup is tragic, in Turkey there is hope…” “The good news is that,… no Turkish party has ever survived the death of its charismatic leader.” This kind of immediate comments suggested that the coup might have some other supporters in and out of the country.
The Gulen movement, which is considered the main actor behind this coup, incubated in 1960s, became nationwide in 1980s when it was recognized by masses and started to globalize in 1990s through educational initiatives in many countries. After the coup attempt, it became evident that their primary aim was infiltration to the army and control all the positions in the state. It, now, seems that they used their success in education as the hook for youths and to transform them in their schools into fanatic disciple of Gulen, who is a retired cleric and now exile in the US, that even they can commit to kill their own people and president of the country with the order of him. To be able to understand the fanatic Gulenists, I recommend you to read Vladimir Bartol’s Alamut, because there is a great similarity between fedayeen of Hassan-i Sabbah and them. Actually, the violence against Turkish civilians on that night is pretty enough to understand them.