On the evening of July 15, 2016, Turkey came face to face with an attempted coup d'état that failed to achieve its nefarious objectives. A group of generals, taking orders from Fethullah Gülen, a fugitive imam who has controled his global criminal network from his base in the U.S. and used his operatives in Turkey to ferment chaos since 2013, initiated their plot. They closed down some bridges in Istanbul, took the Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar captive and took over some private and state-owned television channels.
With the majority of the military opposed to their plans, the police department adamantly standing by the elected democratically government and the people flooding the streets to prevent their voices from being silenced, the coup plotters were forced to surrender in theearly hours of yesterday. According to the latest reports, 161 people died at the hands of those taking orders from these Gülenist officers. Some 2,839 members of the military are under arrest for participating in the attempted putsch.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking to the nation before he left his hotel which waslater bombed, called on the people to fill the squares across the country against the coup. The world witnessed millions of ordinary citizens on the streets supporting the police and lying in front of tanks to ensure the plotters did not succeed.
Friday night was not the first attempt by the military to redesign Turkish politics in accordance with its objective. But it was the first that failed so spectacularly, demonstrating the present democratic maturity of the nation. There have been instances when political leaders were arrested and hanged while the normal democratic political process was suspended for years.
A few years after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) first won the democratic mandate to govern the country in 2003, there was the 2007 e-memorandum by the military that tried and failed to influence the presidential elections. At that time, the nation showed everyone what it wanted by overwhelmingly backing the government in snap elections. On the long night of July 15-16, it once again showed that its loyalty was with democratic politics.
There is a well-established culture of democracy in Turkey and free and fair elections that reflect that culture. The nation has the right to abandon politicians and leaders it deems as failures. There are still certain people and groups who want to disregard the electorate's democratic will through illegal means. Yesterday showed how any attempt to reject the nation's choice will have to face the full wrath of the people. Turkey has a strong democracy, as evidenced by the millions of civilians who risked their lives to protect and preserve it. Gülenist cadres, who ignored this fact time and time again in recent years, were once again confronted with another failed coup attempt against the democratically elected government.
Lastly, this is not only a test for Turkey but also for the West, which has the obligation to stand by fellow democracies and nations. Those western countries that continue to aid and abet Gülenist subversion in opposition to the Turkish electorate's will need to reassess their stance, while the western media should just cease their slanderous campaigns against leaders who stand for their nations' interests as opposed to doing what the West deems appropriate. The world, which has continually failed similar tests in our region, needs to respect the choices made by the people and stand up for democracy.
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