Gülen's people, who had established cells within the military, decided to stage a coup on Friday night and launched a well-organized, well-financed operation that showed their capabilities. They tried to storm the military headquarters in Ankara, the state radio and TV, the satellite reception center, the presidential palace, Parliament and also critical places in Istanbul.
As the coup attempt progressed the rebels started getting more and more vicious. They used F-16 fighters and helicopter gunships as well as the gendarmeries forces, which were the backbone of their manpower.
Thankfully Turkey has bolstered its police force so much so that these people are loyal to the government and can potentially counter any military unit. Thus the valuable contributions of the police force to counter the coup plotters, the help of the military units that were confused but were loyal to the government started stalling the rebels.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who took a short holiday in the southwestern resort city of Marmaris moved quickly to rally the nation against the rebels and this proved to be a decisive blow.
The people flocked into the streets first in Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir and then all across the country. They assembled at squares. They encircled the places that the rebels tried to control. They joined forces with the police to evict the rebels from the Turkish state radio and television in Ankara and Istanbul and from the Istanbul Atatürk International Airport. They practically put up human barriers against the rebel armory. In some instances the rebels shot and killed many of these brave people. Despite all the resources and determination of the coup plotters, the power of the people was overwhelming and the rebel gains started falling one by one. The municipalities in Ankara and Istanbul proved a great asset providing their heavy machinery to set up barriers against the armory of the rebels…
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan, who is the darling of the masses, rushed back to Istanbul's "liberated" Atatürk airport and took control of the situation. Just after Erdoğan left his hotel in Marmaris the rebels attacked the resort but missed the president. So they fought a bitter war with Erdoğan's security people who were left behind. Two policemen were killed.
But as they were being defeated the rebels simply became more atrocious, heavily bombing Parliament, the building that represents the will of the people. Turkish parliamentarians braved the bombing and held a special symbolic parliamentary session. They killed people in the streets and bombed several places with jet fighters and helicopter gunships. They were supposed to be the people of these lands and yet the rebels acted more as if we were the enemies.
Besides all this the opposition parties have also performed well opposing the coup.
The failed coup attempt unfortunately has cost Turkey dearly. It has not only tarnished its image but has created deep material and moral wounds that will take time to heel. However, it has also enhanced the political power of President Erdoğan and has created national unity and self-respect of a nation unmatched in history. The coup attempt has also helped us to weed out at least a bulk of the Gülen soldiers in the military. Now Gülen, his supporters in Turkey and in the United States have to face the consequences. Turkey has to clampdown against the Gülen supporters with full force and if necessary reintroduce the death penalty for the coup leaders. Then Turkey should push the U.S. to extradite Gülen swiftly.
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