On the night of July 15, a unique, historical event was recorded in our democratic history - battling against an attempted coup. There have always been minor groups advocating military coups in Turkey, and they achieved their goal several times. However, for the first time in Republican history, we have been confronted with a coup attempt by a far more insidious group, the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ).
The entire world witnessed live how the people resisted the coup attempt with their politicians, media, police and military.
For this reason, on July 15, our country marked a singular event in the history of democracy.
As a matter of fact, it has been rumored for months that the FETÖ-affiliated members of the military, whose proportion in the military is estimated to be around 15 percent, would take some action, but no one predicted such a flagrant plot.
The first signs were revealed when mobility was cut in Ankara and on both of Istanbul's bridges across the Bosporus were closed around 10 p.m. that night. An insurrection was being mentioned. Everyone was confused, asking each other what must be done. The people, who have memories of former coups and recent blockades, saw that they were about to go through a historical event, and they decided to take to the streets.
Two prominent motivations encouraged people to pour into the streets - to protect democracy and side with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The responses from politicians were the same. Firstly, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım addressed the public, saying that they would not allow a coup even at the risk of death. Blinded by their ambitions, the coup plotters opened fire on people, clashed with police and recklessly killed many. They went even further and bombed Parliament, the stronghold of democracy that was not attacked even in times of war. We were confronted with terrorists in military uniforms.
Erdoğan, the main target for the coup plotters, changed the course of the events through the night.
"As the commander-in-chief, I call everyone to the squares and airports, and I am off to the airport," he said, and after his speech, the people poured into the squares and stood against tanks, challenging the coup.
During these historical moments, political parties and media did not leave the people alone. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said frankly that an insurrection was unacceptable and they side with the government.
Republican People's Party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also issued a statement against the coup, while the most meaningful statement from the CHP came from Deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan: "It is time for the nation to stand up against tanks." A united stance against the coup attempt from all four parties in Parliament was exhilarating and promising for politics.
The media was also among the main agents contributing to the resistance.
As we know from past experiences, the media has always been one of the most significant tools for coup plotters. In the past, it was easier to raid the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), which was the only TV station available in the country, and forcefully announced coup declarations. But now we have multiple voices in the media, so it was not easy for them to silence the media.
Of course, at such critical moments, media outlets can sometimes take on different roles, as we saw in the case of the postmodern coup on Feb. 28, 1997. Therefore, the media's stance was highly contentious during that night. In fact, the majority of them gave a good account of themselves, aside from some marginal and FETÖ-linked ones.
Many TV stations, including A Haber, NTV, Kanal 24 and CNN Türk, stood up against the coup in their broadcasts.
CNN Türk's broadcast was watched with especial interest. When the coup soldiers raided CNN Türk studios during the live broadcast and tried to stop it by force of arms, another unique event occurred. The broadcasters resisted and tried to prevent them, but could not.
Meanwhile, people appeared on the scene. They broke down the doors, passed the security barriers and people stood against the armed soldiers, risking their lives for the sake of media freedom. This stance has a singular meaning with respect to the future of the media. Hopefully, relations can be sustained on this ground from now on.
I hope everyone now understood the reason why we often write about the FETÖ-linked figures setting up their own cadres in public offices. We will continue to write.