Millions of people who resisted tanks and F-16s on July 15 gathered on Sunday in Yenikapı Square to hold a pro-democracy rally and honor the victims of the coup attempt.
The millions who flocked to the square in crowds were rightfully proud of embracing democracy and the country once again. Having been terrorized and intimidated by coups, executions, right-left conflict and unidentified murders for nearly 60 years, the Turkish public said enough is enough and took to the streets for the first time. Therefore, the Yenikapı rally was literally the first sign of the "new Turkey" where Republic and democracy came together as Turkey had yearned for nearly100 years. It was the sign of the new Turkey where democracy, justice and mercy would come to the fore.The people who resisted the July 15 coup attempt presented this historic opportunity to politics. This was exactly why President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan insistently invited the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to Yenikapı.
The Yenikapı rally presented a joint picture to the world with red and white Turkish flags waving in the square. I also saw the flags of a number of countries, including those of Turkish Cyprus, Azerbaijan and Palestine. The meeting was carefully watched not only by friendly and Muslim countries, but also the whole world.
Sometimes I moved to higher platforms and looked at the magnificent square full of the jubilant crowd. There was excitement in the air. A long-awaited spirit like that of a national struggle was revived. This was a first in our political history.
MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) chairman Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman and President Erdoğan stepped up to the podium one after the other and greeted the huge crowd. We saw such a brilliant scene for the first time in a long time.
Then they began delivering speeches, with Kılıçdaroğlu and Erdoğan's speeches the impatiently awaited. Even though Kılıçdaroğlu's speech was not applauded much, it elicited a very positive and reasonable response. There were two surprising speeches, the first from Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar during a civilian rally. I think this was a first in our political history and was most probably considered necessary in order to give a message of unity and solidarity. The second surprising speech was from Yıldırım in which he quoted verses from Nazım Hikmet and Ahmet Arif, giving a message that no segment of society was ostracized.
The rally square was more diverse and colorful than the stage. People from all walks of life, with AK Party, CHP and MHP supporters taking the lead, took part in the square. Irrespective of whether they were rightists, leftist, Alevis, Sunnis, Turks or Kurds, people from all segments united for democracy and those who died on July 15.
It was a great historic gathering that was indeed a response to malevolent global powers rather than to the coup junta and domestic colonial forces, which they supported. This was because these global powers did not claim any responsibility for the coups they staged almost every 10 years over the past 60, but they acted like the apostles of democracy. Now, subversive global powers, and especially the U.S.'s deep state, have been caught red-handed for the first time. The West, with its politics and media, sided with the Gülenist Terror Cult (FETÖ), which was the force plotting the malignant coup. For the first time, the public resisted them and a political leader, Erdoğan, called people to the streets and announced that he would appear in the squares. This response to the coup was a turning point in our democratic history. Certainly, it was also a turning point for American and Western political blocs that have supported all coups.
Therefore, the gathering of millions and all parties in Yenikapı was a strong message not only to pro-coup powers inside the country, but also to global powers. That message was very clear: Get your hands off Turkey.