On the morning of Sept. 12, 1980 Turks awoke to see that the elected government had been deposed, Parliament suspended and political parties closed down by the new military administration led by Chief of Staff Gen. Kenan Evren.
Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel and the opposition Republican People's Party leader Bülent Ecevit were taken away to a secluded military area along with their wives.
Turks welcomed the coup as the events that led to September 12 had been a nightmare for citizens who suffered daily losses of at least 10 to 20 people in clashes between right-wing and left-wing rival terrorists groups amidst a paralyzed political system where Parliament could not even elect a new president.
No one realized at the time that the military was actually behind the turmoil which led to the bloodbath in the country, laying the groundwork to stage a coup. The military hanged dozens of militants from both sides declaring that this way justice was being served.
At the time, the Council of Europe shelved Turkey's membership and Western organizations opposed the military administration.
The Americans, however, did not turn their backs on the junta led by Evren and on the contrary made him act according to their directives, like accepting Greece back to the military wing of NATO. This is exactly how they are using Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Egypt today.
The military held on to power until 1983 when elections were held to return to civilian rule. The military banned political leaders and named Evren as president according to a new constitution drafted and approved by the people in 1982.
The same year, the military founded its own right-wing and left-wing political parties and asked the people to vote for them. It disqualified all other parties but allowed the late Turgut Özal's Motherland Party (ANAP) to enter the polls. Despite Evren's warning not to vote for ANAP, the people swept Özal to power with a landslide that ushered Turkey into a new era of reformation.
On July 15, 2016 some sections of the military affiliated to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) tried to stage a bloody coup and failed thanks to the brave stance of the Turkish people to halt the overthrow. Turkey has suffered many coups in the past, yet this time the coup plotters bombed Parliament, the surroundings of the presidential compound and key security buildings, terrorized people with low flying jets and actually shot at the protesting crowds.
The toll: 250 martyrs and more than 2,100 wounded.
Contrary to the 1980 coup, the 2016 attempt failed because President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan led the people to halt the coup and that is what the nation did.
So instead of applauding the Turkish people for this magnificent show of loyalty to democratic values, the West actually behaved as if they were sorry that the coup attempt had failed. At the moment, Germany and the United States are playing host to those who staged the coup and then fled to these countries.
Turks are shocked to see that the West is actually helping those who wanted to overthrow their elected government. They also do not understand why the European Union and the Council of Europe are treating the Turkish government as if they had staged the coup and succeeded.