Our European "friends" should not take offence. Our European "friends" who defend democracy when there is an attack on it in any part of the world remained silent three years ago on July 15, when a terrorist organization that infiltrated our military attempted a bloody coup.
Three years ago yesterday in Turkey a group of soldiers attempted to overthrow democracy. I was there. Yes, just three years ago as the warplanes bombed Ankara, I was there. I was there too when helicopters gunned down people protesting peacefully in the street.
I was also there when tanks mowed down cars with people in them. I witnessed the murders of people who were simply saying "no" to the coup by using their democratic right to peacefully demonstrate. I witnessed the bombing of the Parliament building while members of Parliament were inside and attacks on other institutions, such as police headquarters. People waiting in front of the Presidential Complex were also attacked and murdered.
While I was witnessing the violence of the terrorists in Ankara, Istanbul and other parts of Turkey were also victims of the plotters and terrorism.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family were also the intended victims of an assassination attempt. In a similar manner, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım's convoy was attacked. The murderers attempted to land near Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu's residence via helicopter but were prevented from doing so by the resistance of police officers near the property. TV channels were also attacked.
The coup attempt was unsuccessful thanks to the heroic resistance of civilians in the streets and the brave struggle of police officers committed to democracy. Democracy won in Turkey. The coup-scheming terrorists have since been arrested. Turkey averted a great threat.
And what did our European "friends" do at the time? Nothing. What was worse, some of them were even hoping the terrorists would succeed.
A total of 251 of our citizens were killed in the July 15 coup attempt, and 2,196 of our citizens were wounded.
On the morning of July 16, 2016 and later through midday when democracy won in Turkey, our European "friends" did not applaud. They were not the first ones to celebrate Turkey. They were not the first ones to say "sorry to hear what happened" to Erdoğan. Why is that?
Months later, when they came to Turkey and visited the Parliament that was bombed, some of them regretted their lack of support; however, it is not possible for us to say they supported Turkey against the coup attempt in reality.
Even though it has been proven through documentation that the coup plotters were members of a terrorist group called the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), founded by Fetullah Gülen, many European countries still continue to protect and harbor its members abroad.
Our European "friends" who do provide all kinds of aid when in Hungary, China, Russia or Ukraine the people rose up and resisted tanks almost felt sorry that the "coup did not happen" in Turkey!
Immediately after the coup, I told my parliamentarian social democrat friends from the European Parliament, of which I was a member, that I was in Ankara as an old member of the European Parliament on the night of the coup and witnessed the violence. I explained that I could detail what I experienced and saw in a meeting. However, much to my disappointment, they had no interest in hearing what I had to say.
Many European "friends" that I have spoken with on this subject wholeheartedly supported the lies and propaganda circulating which claims that if Gülen was actually behind this coup attempt, it would have been successful; that the coup was organized by Erdoğan and that FETÖ did not organize the coup.
Our European "friends" who get in line to watch every other terrorist trial unfortunately did not come to watch the trials when the accused terrorists of the July 15 violence were judged. Why is that? In short, our European "friends" have greatly disappointed us. We have witnessed that they do not care about democracy in countries like Egypt and other similar countries, but at least we thought they were sensitive and meticulous when it came to democracy in European states. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Marking the third year of July 15 being celebrated and as Turkey protects its democracy with enthusiasm, our European "friends" are still messing with Turkey.
The actions of Turks and Cypriot Turks defending their rights in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey's justified battle against the bloody PKK terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq, and Turkey's justified action to buy S-400 air defense systems from Russia is making them feel uneasy. This is the lesson Turkey will draw from July 15. European "friendships" mean nothing when Turkey is being threatened.
Because of this, on July 15, 2019, Turkey vows to continue upholding its democracy and defending its interests with more self-confidence, determination and strength.