A new page was opened for Turkey when it voted for democracy and change in the 2002 primary elections. Since then, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pioneered a period of fast change and growth. Those who wish to reverse these accomplishments resorted to all sorts of undemocratic means, but their attempts yielded no fruit.
The latest attempt on democracy, peace and cultural diversity in Turkey was on the night of July 15. Carried out by the FETO terror organization, which has no regards for humanitarian values and had infiltrated government offices, the coup attempt was defeated within hours after the President made a TV address to the Turkish nation to defend democracy in the squares and streets.
Many people died or were injured while defending democracy and the country against the vile attacks. It was thanks to the people that this vicious plan came to naught.
On the night of July 15, the Turkish people stood together regardless of their political views, socioeconomic status and education. Though the coup attempt was defeated, they continued their Democracy Watch from late at night to early in the morning by filling the streets and squares with Turkish flags in their hands. Participated by millions of citizens, the Democracy Watch turned the whole city into a festival ground and lasted 28 days. This watch enabled millions of citizens to show their support for the elected government and express their determination to protect democracy and their vested rights.
The terror organization’s coup attempt was met with fierce reaction from the people but this never brought about extreme or illicit behavior. On the contrary, people displayed a brave, proud and wise stance both in fighting against the coup attempt and during the Democracy Watch.
Meeting for Democracy and Martyrs
On July 30, President Erdoğan announced that they would crown the Democracy Watch with a meeting at Yenikapı Square, Istanbul.
The strongest response to the coup attempt was given at this meeting held on August 7. Attended also by the opposition parties, CHP and MHP, the meeting hosted speeches by heads of all political parties. All parties and the 5 million guests carried only the Turkish flag not a single flag of any political party was seen at this meeting, which was defined as “above all political parties.” The citizens who died on the night of July 15 were separated from their families and loved ones, yet they united the entire nation. In this regard, Yenikapı Meeting for Democracy and Martyrs gave the strongest message against the coup both by bringing together people from all walks of life and with the attendance of 5 million people.
The coup attempt on July 15 cemented Turkish people’s loyalty to democracy and solidarity while ridding the government of all vicious organizations further strengthened the country. Following the attempt, Turkey maintained its economic stability, continued to receive foreign investment, and, moreover, carried out revolutionary changes in its administration model and constitution that further strengthened democracy.
This is the background for the July 15 Day of Democracy and National Solidarity. On its first anniversary on July 15, 2017 the whole country will commemorate the people’s victory for a week. On July 15, a martyrs’ monument will be revealed in Nakkaştepe, at the entrance of the July 15 Martyrs Bridge, where the mightiest fight against the coup attempt was fought in Istanbul. The National Assembly will meet that day with a special agenda. Big cities will host great meetings that will give the strong message of how Turkey loyally protected its democracy. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to be at events in Istanbul where the coup attempt began on the night of July 15.