After July 15… Failing to read the streets - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

After July 15… Failing to read the streets

I strolled the streets a great deal on the night of the anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt. I attended conferences and meetings at many places that week.

At a panel meeting in Malatya, I saw the Anatolian people’s views of events. At a conference held at Piri Reis University in Tuzla, I tried to understand the academy’s perspective of events.

At an open-air meeting in Ümraniye, I watched the people’s reaction to July 15.

Finally, on the night of July 15, I joined the massive crowd in a long march on the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge, and I listened to the people there.

I read hundreds of messages that were sent to me, due to the programs I joined and the articles I had written, each and every single one of them. I noted what people told me when they stopped me on the streets.

I then came to the following conclusion: Those who were not on the streets could not understand the nation. The language of the streets is different. They give different messages but they are all connected to one another. But, for some reason, people prefer to listen to what is closest to what they believe.

Total rejection means not understanding the streets

I think that the Republican People’s Party (CHP) misreads the consequence of the intense interest in the Maltepe rally which followed the “justice” march. It seems the CHP is misinterpreting it as though all those who came to the rally defend all theses of the CHP and their leader Kemal Kılıçdaoğlu concerning the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and the coup.

Likewise, the mass crowd on the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge should be grasped adequately too. There were also those in that crowd who found the course of events troubling.

But that night I saw those who had poured on to the streets on July 15, 2016. All sorts of people  from the nation were present. And they were personally representing the July 15 spirit.

I consider the news that "They’ve made it obligatory for civil servants to attend this night’s rally” to be cheap tactics. If they had been with that crowd and marched with them, they would have seen the jugular vein of the nation, not of civil servants. By the way, were there messages reading "join” sent by meddling bureaucrats? Perhaps. But it is a huge mistake to generalize it.

Likewise, it is a mistake to underestimate the CHP rally by saying that “it was not crowded.”

So, generalization, total rejection, total acceptance and the categorical objection of something are our greatest mistakes. This means failing to understand the streets and the language of the nation. 

It is also a mistake to look at the crowd on the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge and interpret their participation as “People who are satisfied with everything we do,” and look at the Maltepe rally and comment that “The thesis of an implicit coup has found support.”

Politicizing common points of the nation

The most important thing people from all classes have in common in this country is standing against the FETÖ coup. Another aspect they all have in common is the desire of having a country of justice for everyone.

It is wrong to politicize these common points and count them to one’s own party.

One day, the one doing this will understand how wrong he is.

On July 15, we all experienced those moments again on the television and in the scenes displayed at squares. It is really necessary to avoid squandering a national defense and resistance that will make history. This is an unprecedented event in the history of not only our own country, but also all nations of the world. What nation managed to stop tanks in history? There is no example.

Now, it is a must to embrace that day of this grand and magnificent nation with the same awareness. 

CHP should correct its monumental mistake

The CHP's thesis of "implicit coup" is a thesis that is looked back upon with anger and reaction when watching the footage of that night. Seriously, it comes to insulting the nation that resisted the coup that night. It is a big mistake for the CHP to come up with the thesis of "implicit coup" in an attempt to criticize the government’s mistakes in coup cases in the fight against FETÖ. I hope they will correct this mistake soon.

It is also wrong for the government to have a psychology that defends all its administrative mistakes in an attempt to react to this thesis of the CHP. I think there are some people who think that the CHP will benefit from the steps that will be taken to remove victimization – which is a big mistake.

For that reason, I think it is very important to go to the streets, mingle with the people and give them a hearing. Otherwise you may biasedly read and misinterpret, and harm the country.


Cameramen broke their necks to capture the celebrities on the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge at that night. Also, the celebrities made every effort to be easily seen by the video mixing desk. This lent color to the night. But don’t do it again.


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