Country's peace owed to July 15 martyrs

ŞEYMA NAZLI GÜRBÜZ @SeymNazli
ISTANBUL
Published

On July 15, 2016, 249 people were killed during the brutal coup attempt conducted by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). Mehmet Demir was one of them. Demir and six of his friends were killed in a bomb attack that night while they were at the air base of the police department, trying to determine the identity of the F-16s flying overhead. Nearly one year later, his wife, Yeliz Algin Demir, calls him her "pride," saying that if this country still has its peace, it is all thanks to her husband and other people like him.Speaking to Daily Sabah, Demir gave her account of the night and how she waited for her husband to come back home in two hours, as he had promised. "I waited for him until the morning. Then, in the morning, I felt a hand on my shoulder and a light shining in the room. At that time, I understood that he was not alive anymore.

"Neither would he stay at home that night, nor could I have convinced him to stay. In short, I do not regret anything at all. Yet on that night, all my dreams were mired down," Demir said, adding that she does not regret anything, aside from having said goodbye to him for one last time.

On that night, the coup soldiers bombed many areas in Ankara, including the air base of the police department. Twin brothers Ahmet and Mehmet Oruç, Yasin Bahadır Yüce, Murat Alkan, Yunus Uğur and Ferhat Koç, were the airmen and air technicians who were killed alongside Mehmet Demir at 11:08 p.m.

Despite all the suffering she has endured, Demir does not curse anyone, only for the sake of having mercy on their children. "Children do not choose their parents," she said. "However, I cannot stop asking myself every day, how could they not show any mercy for him?

"He told me how much he hurt whenever he had to carry dead bodies in his helicopter. He was asking how people could be traitors and cause such things," she said, explaining that it was always his dream to fly.

Saying that she and her husband had both kept their distance from FETÖ since their college days, she recounted how toward the last months of his life, her husband sensed that something bad was coming. "He was telling me that he wanted to leave here. I am guessing right now that he was likely suspecting the FETÖ threat. I was teaching him how to read the Quran. Then, he told me that FETÖ members from the military had also offered to teach them Quran. He told them that he is literate so he can learn on his own," she said, adding that the FETÖ members in the military were not content with her husband's relations with them, and because of that, they were constantly assigning him new duties, so much so that he was always busy. "He was feeling that they were up to something, but he didn't say anything. He only said that he had a bad taste in his mouth and didn't want to deal with anyone. At the same time, he didn't want anything bad to happen to us, either."

Asserting that she will do her best to keep her husband's memory alive, Demir said that she is volunteering with several charities in his memory. "Now, I'm paying the school expenses of several of my children, sacrificing animals for the poor and I hope to build a fountain in the spot where he was killed. All of my efforts are made on his behalf."

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