On the call of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğanmillions of citizens who took to the streets and squares all around the country on July 15 were at the forefront of successfully repelling the coup attempt.
Citizens carried the spirit of national struggle to the streets during the democracy watches that lasted for days.
During the democracy watches that took place in all 81 of Turkey’s provinces and various countries for days, the Turkish nation went down in history making a statement for democracy. We have compiled the democracy watch rallies, which were topped off on August 7 in Yenikapı and completed on August 10 at the Presidential Palace complex.
In the first minutes of July 16, Erdoğan made an announcement to members of the press in the district of Marmaris about the coup attempt. Calling the coup attempt an uprising against the national will, Erdoğan called on the public to claim the streets against the uprising.
Democracy watches begin
Citizens who rushed to critical points, including Bosphorus Bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Atatürk Airport, Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Taksim Square, Provincial Security Directorate, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and TRT building, used their bodies as shields against putschist soldiers.
The most critical points in Ankara, where FETÖ members initiated the coup attempt, were swamped with citizens. Among these points were the Presidential Palace Complex, Turkish Grand National Assembly, General Staff Command, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) andKızılay.
While the July 15 coup attempt was successfully repelled, democracy watches continued 24 hours a day, seven days a week in all 81 provinces. Many events were organized simultaneously in cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, and the democracy watches went down in history.
Erdoğan attended rallies as well
Erdoğan addressed citizens whose families died as martyrs during the July 15 coup attempt in the neighborhood of Derbent in the Sarıyer district in Istanbul.
Erdoğan attended democracy watch rallies in Istanbul and Ankara and frequently addressed the crowds through live broadcasts and video link.
Along with Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman and many others from the government kept democracy watch in squares together with the people.
Celebrities were out on the squares
Celebrities also came out to accompany the people who were on the democracy watches for days. Many movie stars, musicians and athletes attended the democracy watch rallies.
Erdoğan met with citizens on July 28 in front of Beştepe Mosque and welcomed artists, actors, radio presenters and athletes at the Presidential Palace complex.
Cengiz Kurtoğlu, Mustafa Ceceli, Alişan, Doğuş, Kutsi, Nihat Doğan, Linet, Berdan Mardini, Davut Güloğlu, İntizar, Serkan Kaya, Doğuş, Ümit Sayın, Ahmet Selçuk İlkan, Ece Erken, Saruhan Hünel, Erdem Kınay, Yaşar İpek, Uğur Aslan, Sinan Akçıl, Ersin Düzen, Vatan Şaşmaz, Sefa Doğanay, Polat Yağcı, Hopdedik Ayhan, Afrikalı Ali, Gezegen Mehmet, Adem Metan, Güvenç Kurtar, Tanju Çolak and many others paid their respects and showed their support for Erdoğan, who in return thanked them for their support.
Under the leadership of producer Polat Yağcı, many famous people, from television to the sports world, including Mustafa Ceceli, Bengü, Murat Dalkılıç, Alişan, Nihat Doğan, Kutsi, Berkay, Berdan Mardini, Sefa Doğanay, Mustafa Yıldızdoğan, Yeşim Salkım, Doğuş, Ahmet Selçuk İlkan, İntizar, Cengiz Kurtoğlu, Serkan Kaya, Berksan and Davut Güloğlu came together with the public through the democracy watch rallies.
Southeastern Anatolia watch together
All cities in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia were extremely determined in keeping the democracy watches. Millions of citizens who rushed to city squares did not set down their Turkish flags for a minute during the democracy watches, which lasted for days.
People of all ages gained remarkable memories during these democracy watch rallies they will not soon forget for the rest of their lives. While the number of brides and grooms attending the watches exceeded thousands, newlyweds joined the watch in front of the Presidential Palace complex in Ankara.
Harun and Ayla Cingöz, who did not want to be left out from the democracy watches that started in Kırşehir after the coup attempt, got married in the square.
Farmers in many cities, including Bursa, Osmaniye, Elazığ, Malatya and Isparta, jointed the democracy watch rallies with their tractors, making the rallies more colorful. Convoys of thousands of vehicles gave the message of solidarity on city streets.
The biggest rally, the Democracy and Martyrs Rally, was organized at the Yenikapı rally grounds with Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli all participating. According to police sources, 5 million people gathered for the rally.
Erdoğan and his family, Yıldırım, Kılıçdaroğlu, Bahçeli, Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar, former President Abdullah Gül, former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Presidency of Religious Affairs President Mehmet Görmez all entered the arena. Four leaders went up to the rostrum to greet citizens. Then there was a moment of silence and the National Anthem was sung. Afterward, verses from the Quran were recited. Görmez lead the prayer. A large group of artists also attended the rally.
Bahçeli, Kılıçdaroğlu, Akar, Yıldırım, Kahraman and Erdoğan addressed the crowd. However, another people who had not been previously announced also gave speeches. Gen. Akar took to the stage after Kılıçdaroğlu and addressed millions for the first time at a rally.
Leaders had tea together before the rally and posed for the press. At the end of the speeches, Erdoğan, Yıldırım, Kahraman, Gül and Davutoğlu greeted the crowd.
Last rally at the Presidential Palace complex
The democracy watches, which were initiated after the coup attempt, continued non-stop for 27 days and finally came to an end when Erdoğan greeted the people in the garden of the Presidential Palace complex on Aug. 10.
As the sun set, people of all ages rushed to the Presidential Palace and greeted Erdoğan with Turkish flags.
Erdoğan: Come, all of you!
Addressing thousands of people in the garden of the Presidential Palace complex, Erdoğan said that the U.S. has to pick sooner or later and added, “It’s either FETÖ or Turkey.”
On one side there is the PKK, on the other FETÖ, on the other the PYD, Daesh and the YPG, come all of you! With the help of God, you can never overcome this nation!
Erdoğan addressed terrorist organizations from the platform set up in front of the Şeref Door:
“Capital Ankara. Not just the capital of our state, but also the capital of the hearts. Without a doubt, we have never bowed down before any humane power and we never will. We will only bow down before our God. Ankara experienced the first invasion attempt in its history during the July 15 coup attempt. Ankara stopped the traitors as one heart, one fist. I salute you with all my heart, Ankara. From Ankara, from our capital, I salute each and every one of our 81 provinces. I salute all of our 79 million citizens from the Presidential Palace complex, which was one of the locations of actual resistance against the coup plotters.”
Not a random crowd
“Ankara is one of the few cities without an independence day in Turkey. Now, July 15 is Independence Day for Ankara, together with the rest of Turkey. Our nation has taken the wind out of the sails of those who wanted to condemn our nation to captivity, contempt, pain and oppression. July 15 proved that those who live on this land are not just a random crowd, but a nation. The Anthem of Ankara says: ‘Look at the stones of Ankara, look at my tears, we’ve captured the enemy, look at our destiny.’ ”
Different history made in every corner
On the night of July 15, this nation demonstrated its nobility by capturing those who treated them as an enemy together with the coup plotters. Thank you God for such a grand nation. With 148 of its children falling martyrs and 1,223 wounded, Ankara wrote a very different epic story that night. People made history in Kızılay, at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, at the General Staff Office, in Gölbaşı, Kazan, Mamak, Etimesgut, Yeni Mahalle, in front of Ankara Police Headquarters, in every corner of Ankara. God rest the souls of all our martyrs and I’d like to give my condolences to their families and loved ones. I hope our veterans recover soon and I express my gratitude to them.”
Opened a new door to the 21st century
“As you know, this nation made history in Yenikapı on Sunday. In fact, they opened a new door to the 21st century. They opened a new door to democracy and toward justice. We organized our Democracy and Martyrs Rally with the participation of 5 million people. There was unity, solidarity and brotherhood there. Let God make this solidarity and brotherhood last. People at the rally in Istanbul requested to continue the democracy watch rallies. We said dear brothers, you will continue these rallies in your heart and soul. But I know our nation is so attached to its liberty, to its future, so I couldn’t find it in myself to disagree otherwise. So we decided to organize the finale here in Ankara.”
We claim it everywhere
“Now, I see that people still don’t want to leave the squares. There was a principle, Veteran Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk] emphasized on the toughest days of the War of Independence“ ‘There is no defense line, but defense territory. This territory is the whole of the motherland!’ We also say the democracy watch can’t be done at certain hours, certain locations. We will own up our democracy, our liberty and state 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in our homes, offices and everywhere.”
They will die one by one
“In other words, we will be on democracy watch in every corner of our motherland at every hour, every day. Because, as you can see, we can never know from where, when or who danger, threats or sabotage will arise. We gave martyrs in Şırnak today. There are blasts in Mardin and Diyarbakır. The PKK picks up where FETÖ abandons treason, and watch Daesh pick it up from where the PKK abandons it. We know that this is result of their nature. We know that this is a result of their habit. This is what they do. They do it because of their characters. Dear brothers, they will die one by one during their treason watch; we will be on democracy watch and defend our country with everything we got. We say that martyrs would burst forth should one simply set foot on the soil! Martyrs! May God take my life, my loved ones, and all possessions from me if He wills, but let Him not deprive me of my one true homeland in the world, and then we will carry on our path.”
"They cannot divide this nation nor overthrow our state"
“On one side, there’s the chance to attain the good tidings of God with an honorable struggle and on the other there is perishing like an animal. We are proud to follow God’s path, independence’s path, the nation’s path. Those who follow the charlatan in Pennsylvania who sold his soul to the devil are bound to end up in defeat. Those who follow that project organization called Daesh that only sheds the blood of Muslims are bound to end in defeat. Those who believe the lies of the PKK, which has been shedding blood for the past 30 years to divide this land and nation, are bound to end in defeat. Those who try to plant seeds of unrest and hostility through denominational and disposition difference will also end the same way. On July 15, our nation not only gave its answer to FETÖ, but also to others who have similar whims, to a certain circle. No one can split this country, this nation or overthrow our state without risking reliving heroic wars and struggles including the Battle of Manzikert, the Conquest of Constantinople, and the Battle of Gallipoli.”
"They had guns that we bought"
“We proved to the whole world what we’re willing to pay the highest fee on July 15. The night of the July 15, those who thought they could conquer this country had a very so-called smart plan in place. Yet, their calculations were wrong. They had aircraft, F16s, but we had bought all of them. They had helicopters, tanks, but we had bought all of them. They had guns in their hands, but we had bought all of them. It turns out that we had handed over what we had bought to these traitors, these villains. They couldn’t foresee that millions would rush out to the streets and resist against tanks, helicopters and airplanes. They couldn’t think of this one thing that this nation would rise against them.”
“Today, one of the coup financiers was arrested in Bulgaria. His asylum request wasn’t accepted, it was denied, and he was repatriated to Turkey. We got him. We’re chasing them, we will keep chasing them. We’re chasing him as well. The U.S. will make a choice eventually – either Turkey or FETÖ. Coup-plotting, terrorist FETÖ or democratic Turkey. It has to make this choice. We’ve sent 85 packs of files. The U.S. probably will not allow this coup plotter, coup organizer, this villain who took refuge in the U.S. for the past 17 years to stay and will repatriate this charlatan.
"They didn’t regard Halisdemir as possible"
“They couldn’t even envisage that this state with its president, prime minister, political party leaders, police force, judiciary and municipalities would resist all out. They were mistaken. They couldn’t even calculate that there may be real patriots among the most honorable military officers within the Turkish Armed Forces.
“They couldn’t predict that the real sons of this motherland, the soldiers, will not be a pawn in this scenario they’d written. They couldn’t foresee that a true son of this motherland like Ömer Halisdemir would rise up and shoot them right in the face. There are many things within this military. You can be a brigadier general. But Ömer Halisdemir learned that there was a coup attempt and he did what he had to do. Hope God makes him a martyr and a neighbor of our holy prophet in heaven.”
All calculators were locked at that moment
“They had eyes but couldn’t see, they had ears but couldn’t hear, they had mouths but couldn’t speak because their hearts were sealed”
“They couldn’t think that our special operations police whom they dropped bombs on would block them by forming a barricade with their colleagues. Fifty-three of our brothers from special operations fell as martyrs from the bombs they dropped. Where is their conscience, what kind of villainy is this? Who is that special operations officer? He’s the son of our land, he’s our police. They eradicated them all together. But they didn’t, they couldn’t think what kind of a price their brothers, their comrades would make them pay. They couldn’t calculate this. All calculators were locked at that moment.”
The answer I got is very meaningful
“They thought that there weren’t any heroes left with the courage to walk against tanks and stand up on gun barrels. But suddenly, there is Sabri, our son, who threw himself in between the the tank treads.
“He laid down in front of the second tank and his arm was wounded when he was along the treads again. When I called him, his answer was meaningful: “Dear president, how are you?” he said. When I said, never mind me, how about you, he said: “My doctor brothers and nurse sisters are taking good care of me.” He’s 34. So I asked him what he was doing. The answer I got is very meaningful. ‘I’m a graduate of a religious school but I’ve been working on air defense systems since I was 6. Now, I’m developing a computer program on air defense systems in the private sector.’ See this, they couldn’t calculate this.”
They couldn’t work this out
"They assumed they became extinct"
“Martyrs Hill is not empty. They couldn’t calculate this. Martyrs are immortal, our land is indivisible. Our God gave them the good news: ’Don’t call them dead, they are alive, but you cannot know that.’ They thought the lineage of Hasan from Ulubat, Koca Seyit, Nene Hatun, Kara Fatma, Karayılans had become extinct.”
"They couldn’t foresee that everyone, young or old, would rush to the streets"
A sister of mine who lives in Esenler was blown to pieces on Vatan Avenue by an armed personnel carrier. That’s how she fell as a martyr. That’s how she walked toward God. But when I talked to her husband, her son, their stance, their attitude was beyond estimable and praiseworthy. They understood the meaning of martyrdom, but these FETÖ supporters didn’t foresee that everyone would be out on the streets, women and men, young and old.”
"He was going to do the organization"
“Our comrade Erol went there with his son. He fell as a martyr from being shot in the head and shoulder, and his dearest 17-year-old son as well. And if our Erol was alive, he was going to do the organization for this rally we had on Sunday. Instead, we did it with his fellow workers because this is how we managed over the years.”
"This nation is intolerant to treachery"
“When we called them a terrorist organization, they said: can there be a terrorist organization without guns? Whenever I said this, they claimed this. Are they without guns? Of course not, they have armed with the arms of the state. That’s how they calculated everything.
“On July 15, they proved they are the meanest terrorist organization in the world as they pointed the guns that were entrusted by the state to their honor to protect their country on its citizens. Yes, with their unjust, unlawful acts and with their slandering. This terrorist organization we’ve been struggling against for years now has blood on their hands. The blood of our nation. This great nation forgives all mistakes, tolerates all downfalls, but is intolerant to treachery. FETÖ betrayed this nation.”
They wanted to sell this country for their benefit
“This terror act they’ve committed under the look of a coup attempt is nothing but a rehearsal of Turkey’s invasion. We know that those who point a gun at our nation will sell their country to others. Thank God the guns they aimed backfired in their faces and shot them like a boomerang. The country they wanted to sell is proceeding toward its targets very quickly, something rarely seen in history. What does the expert poet say: ‘We made a dent in the wall that is so holy. Blow from wherever you want you fickle wind.’ It doesn’t matter.”
79 million people, one nation
“We said: “We have Rabia too. Our ‘rabaa’ sign, one: The picture is here. Seventy-nine million people, Turks, Kurds, Laz, Cherkess, Georgians, Bosniaks, Roma, all one nation.”
"The star is our martyrs"
“Two, a single flag. What makes a flag a flag is the blood on it and what makes a land a homeland is those dying for it. The color of our flag is from the blood of our veterans. If the crescent is the symbol of independence, then the star is our martyrs.”
Come, all of you
“And three, motherland. We have a land of 780,000 square kilometers. No one should try to take advantage of our homeland. Those who plot will definitely pay for it. Someone makes an announcement from the Qandil Mountains that they were going to go to the cities. They will leave the mountains. If you will, you will pay the price, don’t forget it! On one side there is the PKK, on the other there is FETÖ, on the another the PYD, Daesh and the YPG, come all of you! With the help of God, you can never overcome this nation! With the permission of our God, you can never overcome this nation!”
No one should counsel us
Four, one state. There is no state other than the Republic of Turkey. What is that parallel state? Why couldn’t you find it? You got beaten, but it’s not over. We’re going to eradicate them. We’ve entered their dens now. I want to make something clear: we aren’t doing this with greed of revenge. We are weeding out invaders with justice and law. We are weeding them out within justice. No one should counsel us. We are implementing whatever is written in our institutions.”
They stood up with faith and belief
“My brothers, I’ve shared my opinion on the death penalty with you before. I’m saying this again, politicians shouldn’t and can’t ignore this request of our nation. These should be discussed under the roof of Parliament. No one should start to explain legal gaps while this issue is being discussed in Parliament. The date of this coup is certain. Therefore, this issue should be addressed as of that date. If Parliament says ‘yes’ to this request, then I’ll approve it as the president. Of course, if Parliament doesn’t say ‘yes’, then there isn’t anything I can do because we won’t torment the souls of our martyrs. We can’t betray our veterans and we can’t turn our back on the will of the nation if we say we are a democracy. Democracy is a regime where the requests of the nation are the real rulers and this is how we’ll do it. Those who went out on the streets by risking their livers and falling as martyrs or becoming veterans, those who stood against the coup plotters with faith, may their holy war be blessed.”
These democracy watches will remain in our hearts
“I wish the holy war of the residents of Ankara is blessed. We have 240 martyrs all around Turkey and 2,195 wounded. God bless all of them. I want to thank my citizens who announced their commitment to their country to the whole world with the enthusiasm and dignity they showed at the democracy watches. I say let God always protect our country and nation. Now we’re bringing this to a pause and giving a break to these democracy watches, but they will remain in our souls and hearts.”
The world will be filled with admiration
“You went down in history. With our martyrs and veterans, without any discrimination, without any political thought, with artists and athletes, politicians and media, you made history as a majority all night and all day long. The world will be filled with admiration for this unity. Don’t worry. We’ll always stand tall, hold our heads high, be brothers and be Turkey. God bless all of you.”
Squares are full again
Millions of people who could not attend the last democracy watch at the Presidential Palace complex filled the squares on the last day of the democracy watch to demonstrate against the FETÖ coup attempt.
Tourists joined in
Many people, including international students who are members of the Prime Ministry Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities, attended the democracy rallies in Turkey. Expats and tourists who mention how pleased they are with Turkish hospitality at every possible opportunity invaded city squares all around Turkey, but mainly in Istanbul and Ankara. African democracy watchers became a symbol of the democracy watch while Europeans wrote of the events taking place in Turkey on their social media accounts.
Watches cross borders
Many people from Europe to Asia and the Americas to Africa attended democracy watch rallies. Turkish citizens abroad and also residents of other countries got the message of democracy across with Turkish flags in their hands.
Meeting in Cologne
To protest the FETÖ coup attempt in Turkey, to own up the national will that put down the traitors by appearing in front of tanks and to give the message of democracy, tens of thousands of people came from all around Europe and met in Cologne, Germany on July 31, despite all the efforts of Germany to prevent the gathering. The country’s Federal Constitutional Court didn’t permit President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to address the attendants of the Democracy Rally against the Coup through giant screens to be set up in the rally area. German politicians also took a stance against the rally, which became a “feast of democracy”. Supported by almost 100 associations and foundations, the rally organized at Deutzer Werft Square by the Democracy against Coup Platform started with singing the Turkish and German national anthems. A minute’s silence was observed for the martyrs of the June 15 coup attempt and also those who lost their lives in attacks in Paris and Munich. A common declaration condemning coups and supporting democracy and democratic institutions was read in German and Turkish. The crowed waved Turkish, German, Afghan and Syrian flags at the rally.
Returned to Turkey for the democracy watch
Many Turks living abroad returned to Turkey to attend the democracy watch rallies by taking time off from work. Entering Turkey at the border gates, they first attended the democracy watch rallies in Edirne. Many expats arrived in Edirne in the early hours of the morning but did not leave town until they attended the democracy watch rally at Atatürk’s mausoleum at night. These people then returned to their countries of residence and continued their watch.
Set an example for Brazil
Set an example for Brazil After the investigation initiated with the claim that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was “spending resources at public banks unlawfully,” she was dismissed from impeached and removed from office by the Brazilian Senate.
- After Rousseff condemned the decision as a “political coup,” Brazilians rallied on the streets. The people showed a great response to the removal of President Rousseff. With Rousseff’s dismissal, whose period of office was to be completed on Jan. 1, 2019, Vice President Michel Temer assumed the presidency.
Anti-Temer protestors rushed to the streets, inspired by how the July 15 coup attempt was quashed by the Turkish nation. In Sao Paulo, the center of the demonstrations, people protesting the decision and the new president also carried Turkish flags. While the coup attempt in Turkey found worldwide coverage, it also encouraged Rousseff supporters to rally in squares and on the streets of Brazil. Groups carrying Turkish flags along with Brazilian flags claimed that Temer is backed by the U.S.
- What happened?
In July 2015, it was revealed that the U.S. National Intelligence Service had wiretapped Rousseff as well as leaders of Germany and France. WikiLeaks published a document showing that not only Roussef’s phone, but also the presidential aircraft had been tapped. The document said:
“The documents show that not only President Dilma Rousseff was wiretapped, but also her assistant, chief of staff and even the state’s presidential aircraft.”
SMS game from FETÖ
FETÖ started sending out fake SMS messages as the people were not abandoning the call to the rallies. Such messages that did not reflect the truth read: “You can go home now.” FETÖ supporters initiated another attempt the day after. In messages sent out to millions of citizens through WhatsApp and other social media platforms that read: “There are 19 bombs.”
Millions did not leave the streets empty in Istanbul, which suffered the most from the coup attempt, during the democracy watch. While some locations became symbols of the watch, it was reflected across all cities with the same enthusiasm.
The coup attempt on the night of July 15 was repelled by the Turkish nation, which continued the democracy watch on the streets and in squares. Millions gathered in Istanbul. In Taksim Square, Erdoğan’s residence in Kısıklı, Üsküdar, the vicinity of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Building in Saraçhane, the Istanbul Police Headquarters on Vatan Avenue and many other squares in various districts were the home to non-stop democracy watches. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality distributed hot food, food packets, water and juice from mobile kiosks set up at various squares in the city to people who were at the democracy watches.
One of the most well-known squares in Turkey, Taksim Square, was swarmed with people during the democracy watch.
Instead of going home, many people chose to sleep on the grass in front of the Monument of the Republic during the watch.
Rallies in Taksim Square were broadcast live to the people waiting in front of the Presidential Palace complex.
A giant platform was built during the democracy watch in front of Erdoğan’s residence in the Kısıklı neighborhood of Üsküdar in Istanbul. People filled up the area at every hour of the day in support of Erdoğan.
Full on the first night
With Erdoğan’s initial call on the night of July 15, people rushed to Kısıklı.
Spending the night at the Atatürk Airport State Guesthouse after the coup attempt, Erdoğan then traveled to his residence in Kısıklı and addressed the people who had gathered there.
"Deport or repatriate him to us"
President Erdoğan continued:
“This country has suffered much from this parallel state structure within the past 40 years. This country has suffered a lot from this parallel state structure whose lower ranks are engaged in prayer, middle ranks engaged in trade and upper ranks engaged in treason.”
They bled this nation dry of its alms and even charity.
“They have complained about this country and state, so to speak, through baseless and fabricated news abroad from America to Europe. Now, I’m calling on the U.S. I’m calling on Mr. President [Barack Obama]. Mr. President, I previously asked for the repatriation of the person living on 400 decares in Pennsylvania. I informed you that they were planning a coup, but I couldn’t make you heed my warning. Today I am repeating my call after this coup attempt: Repatriate the person in Pennsylvania to Turkey! If we are strategic partners, meet this demand of your partner. We have repatriated all the terrorists you have asked for. And now please repatriate this person to us who is on our terror list.”
Now, the tumor is being cleansed
Erdoğan said that the coup attempt did not result in the way they wanted and expected and that this is what is called a destiny above destiny, and they believed in this, and that justice does not derive from power, but power derives from justice.
Upon the slogan “Stand tall, don’t bow,” Erdoğan said: “Don’t worry. We only bow before God. It doesn’t befit us to bow down before anyone else. There’s no such thing in our principles.”
Speaking of the police and civilian martyrs during operations, Erdoğan wished God’s mercy on the martyrs. He also wished a speedy recovery to the more than 1,000 people who had been wounded. “Some of our comrades fell as martyrs. But I don’t discriminate. Everyone is my comrade. I hope God grants all of them with rewards.”
“They were a tumor within the Turkish Armed Forces. Now this tumor is being cleansed”
“Dear brothers, I have to highlight an issue. These incidents have been orchestrated by a minority within the armed forces, not by the Turkish Armed Forces itself. Our armed forces will advance toward a point that is fit for itself. I also would like to thank the judiciary very much, because all across the country, the judiciary, in cooperation with the national police, has ruled for the detention of these people regardless of their names, posts or ranks.
The platform hosted everyone
The platform in Kısıklı hosted many well-known figures from politics, the arts, sports and other areas. While the democracy watch rallies continued with the messages of democracy frequently given to the citizens, it was observed that everyone, young or old, banded together in Kısıklı.
FETÖ supporters in the military raided the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) building in Saraçhane on the night of the coup attempt. People who became aware of this raid immediately swarmed to the İBB building. The gunfire from rogue soldiers that caused citizens to fall as martyrs could not stop the throngs. After performing their ablutions in the decorative pool in front of the building, they battled against the coup plotters and took back control of the İBB building.
The democracy watch that started on the night of July 15, continued fervently after the coup attempt was quashed. Citizens packed the squares until the last day of the democracy watch and shouted slogans such as “Call the coup plotters to account” and “The public are here, where are the coup plotters?”
The İBB opened a condolence book for the July 15 martyrs and veterans, and for the 17 people who lost their lives in front of the İBB building during the treacherous coup attempt. While many people wrote down their thoughts and feelings in the book at the municipality building in Saraçhane, about 50 foreign representatives wrote = condolence messages between Aug. 2 and Aug. 5.
Signing the condolence book, Gen. Akar wrote: “Despite our martyrs murdered by villains who plotted against the unity and solidary of our country, I wish health and welfare to our veterans. Both the military and civilians should take precautions side by side in order to prevent such events from re-occurring. The real members of the Turkish Armed Forces are on duty and are at the disposal of our noble nation.”
The democracy watch rallies that were initiated all around Turkey after the July 15 coup attempt were attended by large crowds in Ankara just like in Istanbul. Ankara residents who rushed the exit points of putschist soldiers on the night of the coup attempt, gathered at Kızılay Square in the city center of Ankara.
Ankara residents who claimed national will after the July 15 coup attempt were on watch for 26 days non-stop. Along with Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Melih Gökçek, who did not leave the guardians of democracy alone, many deputies, artists, athletes, ministers and representatives from nongovernmental organizations also visited the rally areas in support of democracy.
Special program for day 15
Kızılay Square was not empty on the 15th day of the democracy watch. First, prayers were said on the square for democracy martyrs and members of the armed forces in southeastern Turkey slaughtered by PKK terrorist while defending their country. Ankara residents gathered at the square waving Turkish flags and chanting slogans such as “Martyrs are mortal, our land is indivisible”.
On the 15th day of the democracy watch, Murat Kekilli visited Kızılay Square and sang the song he composed for July 15. “We lost the night of July 15 to enemies, wolves in a sheep’s clothing who we thought were allies. I wish God’s mercy on all our martyrs,” Kekilli said.
Kızılay Square was also packed on the day the democracy watch rallies came to an end. All avenues and boulevards leading to the square was festooned with Turkish flags. In addition, surprise guests from the worlds of art, culture and politics also accompanied the people at the meeting.
Kızılay Square’s name was changed
The name of Kızılay Square was changed to July 15 Kızılay National Will Square in commemoration.
Along with symbolic locations in Istanbul and Ankara, democracy watches continued for days in Turkey’s other 79 provinces.
The day- and night-long watches all around Turkey became a symbol to be passed onto future generations.