Exactly a year ago, I just finished my work at the newspaper and went home via the Bosporus Bridge. One hour after I crossed the bridge, an interesting news came up, saying that some military vehicles blocked the bridge. Everyone was trying to figure out what was going on. It was a completely abnormal and unprecedented situation. It was well-known by all that the members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), who infiltrated the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), would be dismissed from their positions at the next meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) in August 2016. Was it possible for FETÖ, as its final move, to stage a kamikaze attack? Everything was possible but no one wanted to believe the possibility of a FETÖ attack. Also, no one wanted to regard a coup attempt as a possibility in the 21st century's Turkey.
However, we heard that some military jet carried out low flying in capital Ankara and some clashes erupted in the headquarters of the General Staff; this was the time we all understood what was really going on. Yes, it was an apparent coup attempt. FETÖ members in the TSK attempted to seize the country to save their terrorist cult, which was condemned by the public conscience. In the following hours, Turkey experienced more than a coup attempt, a deadly atrocity. The Gülenist coup officers started targeting hundreds of thousands of people, who flocked to the streets to defend their democracy. When I found a way out to get to my office by sea, the news were very unfortunate. The Gülenist putschists on the Bosporus Bridge (now called the July 15 Martyrs Bridge) opened fire over civilians, killing them. This means they were clearly executing unarmed civilians by shooting at them. That night on the bridge, some 38 civilians were brutally killed and hundreds were also wounded in almost a live broadcast.
Was the violence on the bridge the only one? No. In the Esenler district of Istanbul, tanks, used by the Gülenist officers, drove over some civilians and vehicles that try to resist them. The footages were a disaster. In Çengelköy, another district of Istanbul, the Gülenist putschists killed residents without hesitation. The sound recording of the FETÖ commander, who directed the massacre there, was released on the internet, revealing what really happened. In the recording, the so-called commander was telling his soldiers, "There are some resisting in Beylerbeyi [near Çengelköy]. Call a helicopter, let it shoot them all." This violence was experienced across the whole country, as well. For example, the villagers, who set fire to haystacks to stop the coup soldiers from flying jets near Akıncı Air Base (the Gülenist officers were using it as the main base of their coup plan), were all brutally murdered.
In a first in the history of the Republic of Turkey, Parliament was bombed. The FETÖ officers, who occupied the headquarters of the General Staff in Ankara's Kızılay, opened fire over the people. The Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and commanders-in-chief of the armed forces were taken captive by the Gülenist putschists. F-16 jets bombed civilians waiting outside the Presidential Complex in Ankara's Beştepe. The headquarters of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) was shot at. Tanks targeted some police cars. Some police headquarters were bombed. An assassination group consisting of special forces was sent to Muğla province to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
However, there was something the coup soldiers failed to calculate. For the first time in the history of Turkish politics, hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians flocked to the streets and repelled the tanks without fearing the bombings or gunfire. By the morning on the following day, on July 16, we were left with 249 people dead, thousands of people wounded, buildings burned down, vehicles crushed by tanks and a society that experienced a grave trauma.
The perpetrators of this massacre are known. The confessions of coup officers along with footage, particularly from Akıncı Air Base, revealed this truth. Adil Öksüz, the right-hand man of FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen, who resides in Pennsylvania, U.S., was caught at Akıncı Air Base on the night of coup attempt. Along with him, five other civilian senior FETÖ members were also there. The footage shows the coup commanders giving a formal salute to those civilian FETÖ members at the base. Although the European countries and the U.S. refuses to see the truth, the footage alone reveals who is the behind the coup attempt.
While everything is crystal clear, why do the European countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. protect the terrorist group by sheltering its members within their borders? According to these countries, there aren't enough documents or evidence that will necessitate the extradition of FETÖ members. But these are nothing other than excuses. Please, remember how Greece didn't extradite the eight FETÖ coup officers who fled the country on the night of July 15. These eight Gülenist officers were among the special forces that attempted an assassination against President Erdoğan on that night. When the coup failed, these uniformed officers fled to Greece by helicopter. They were caught red-handed. Could there be any other evidence more important than this? But, the Greek high court ignored this evidence and did not extradite them to the Turkish court.
There is no doubt that Greece's decision was not a well-intentioned one. It was the same ill-intentioned decisions made by other European countries that do not extradite FETÖ members and by the U.S. that tries to find pretexts to avoid the extradition of FETÖ leader Gülen.
Surely these decisions are based on their current problems with Turkey. Indeed, these countries can target whatever they want while backing the Gülenist terrorists. Their temporary problems with Turkey will one day end in the future, but the anger of the Turkish people against them, it seems, will continue forever.