Turkey entered unprecedented territory late Friday night as a terror-cult aimed at overthrowing the democratically elected government attempted an armed coup. While Turkey has had experience with military backed coups in the past this, most notably some 20 years ago, this coup was different. One difference was that the coup was not orchestrated by the military itself, but by a small contingent of rogue officers. The most notable difference between the July 15 coup attempt and all other coups, in Turkey and abroad, was the strength of the people. The Turkish people united in fighting back against the terrorists that aimed to take back the country. They took to the streets. They engaged in firefights. They wrestled arms away from soldiers. Nearly 200 brave citizens died defending their democracy and democracy prevailed.
On Monday, as markets opened for the first time following the failed putsch, the Turkish lira recovered much of the ground it had lost late Friday evening. The lira traded at 2.93 liras to the dollar at the open Monday and traded as high as 2.97 later on in the afternoon. The impressive resilience of the Turkish lira is a testament to the robustness of the economy, even in the face of the existential crisis thwarted by Saturday morning.
Turkish Credit Default Swaps(CDS), which essentially act as insurance against political or economic instability, traded higher on Monday morning, rising to 2.48 percent late Monday. While an increase of 24 basis points on the day, this CDS level is still below that of eurozone country Portugal, a country whose debt is de facto guaranteed by the European Central Bank. In other words, Turkey's financial markets and the outlook on the economy for the foreseeable future are strong. Markets continue to believe in the profitability of Turkish firms and the ability of the Turkish people to preserve democracy in the future.
If anything, this attempted coup may have decreased Turkey's risk factor and may bode well for CDS markets in the future. While many other countries in the Middle East have experienced military coups, Turkey has become the first one to declare the people as the defenders of democracy, independent of the actions of any military or any political party.
Late Friday night I heard the news of a potential coup taking place as did many other Turkish citizens. I was both appalled and shocked, but above all I was angry. How could the wishes of the people be tossed aside by a few thousand terrorists? I've never owned a gun nor do I intend to, but I knew the mere presence of the people in the street would bring the terrorists to the realization that the people are no longer feeble and weak, so I did what millions of other Turkish citizens did, I took to the streets.
Istanbul Atatürk International Airport was, at the time, still occupied by the terror group and so I headed there. I came across a tank already surrounded by thousands of civilians preventing it from moving. The tank had been dispatched from military barracks a few miles away from the airport. Apparently it had run over several cars stuck in traffic with passengers still inside, instantly killing many innocent civilians in these cars.
Police officers soon arrived on the scene and asked that those on the tanks get off so that they could secure it. Apparently, there was an officer and two soldiers in the tank. As news of the barbaric acts the terrorists had committed en route to the airport spread, the people became increasingly more enraged. Just as this was happening, an F-16 came out of nowhere and buzzed the tank and the crowd. The sonic boom was incredible and threw many of the crowd, including myself, off of the railings we stood on. The F-16 was one of four hijacked by the terrorists and was being used to intimidate the populous.
Ultimately the three terrorists in the tank were removed peacefully and arrested, however many other terrorists were not so lucky. The F-16s returned to their bases where their pilots were also arrested. The coup was over and the resolve of the Turkish people was forever emboldened. All political parties joined together the next day in denouncing the terror group and any other individual or group who would dare challenge the rule of law and the power of the people in Turkey. Never again.