After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Turks adopted democracy as an irreplaceable system of government. The neo-Republicans, heirs of centuries-old state capture, built a new system on the foundations of their strong political legacy to move the nation forward. However, the process of building, maintaining and developing democracy was not a walk under the moonlight between the flowers. Since the early stages, the road has been thorny and paved with difficulties, but the strong will of the nation to maintain democracy and the institutions built on it have made its Turkish model stronger and firmer over the arduous journey. Although it still has some flaws, the nation’s love for democracy has made it sacred and inviolable.
The Turkish people set a strong example of this on 15 July 2016 when they opposed a coup attempt by members of the Gülen terrorist group that brutally attacked the Turkish democracy and tried to overthrow a democratically elected government.
Unfortunately, July 15 was not the first coup attempt in the history of Turkish politics, which witnessed many disastrous military coups. In almost every decade, the Turkish government has faced a military coup since the 1960s. These undemocratic, Western-backed and sometimes bloody coups have succeeded in their attempts to overthrow democratically elected governments.
But the July 15 coup attempt has two aspects that make it significantly different from previous attempts. First, compared to previous coups, it was not carried out by the military leadership alone. Rather, it was carried out by a mysterious group whose members have infiltrated all sectors of public and private life over the past forty years or more. It is necessary to address what it is from a detailed topic that includes a comprehensive explanation of the network and how it was established, developed and transformed into a terrorist group. However, it is clear that the Gülen terrorist group has infiltrated government institutions at all levels and has become an influential part of the private sector, whether in the media, banking, finance, private education or other sectors. As such, the network’s organizational scheme is no longer limited to one segment of society, nor is it a new institution, although many outside Turkey may have only heard of it after the July 15 coup attempt.
The second important aspect is that the attempt failed and did not succeed thanks to the millions who took to the streets and defended their democracy and their democratically elected government, risked their lives or sustained serious injuries, many of which were permanent disabilities to resulted. About 251 people were killed and more than 2,200 others injured when crowds of brave men and women, young and old, took to the streets that night, convinced that the attempt was not just to change a government, although one of the goals was to attack and overthrow the democratically elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government. However, the people knew that the attack was on Turkish democracy and to bring down the darkness about the future of their children and future generations . With all these meanings in mind, the people stopped the ugly coup, which many believe was supported by the West, especially by the United States, where many members of the terrorist group live and in the rest of European countries. Despite Turkey’s extradition requests for the fugitives, the US and European authorities have chosen not to cooperate with Ankara against the terrorist group, not to mention that the group’s leader, Fethullah Gulen, is still in the US in a private complex does not live with other members.
It is noteworthy here that against this backdrop, and just days before the commemoration of the failed coup attempt that is now celebrating the nation as a celebration of democracy, John Bolton, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and former National Security Adviser. to the White House, somehow acknowledged that he had helped plan coup attempts abroad.
Turkey has previously heard the phrase “our boys did it” and it is no longer surprising to many, but Bolton’s remarks are remarkable in terms of US interference in other countries’ democracies by supporting coup attempts.
Bolton made the remarks to CNN, following the congressional hearing on the events of January 6, 2021, when the US capital was attacked, and the committee accused former President Donald Trump of inciting violence to stay in power after he ran the presidential lost election in 2020. Broadcaster Jake Tapper, Bolton noted that Trump is not qualified enough to carry out a “carefully planned coup”. He said of himself: “As someone who helped plan coups, not here, but elsewhere, it takes a lot of work. What Trump did not do.” When asked by Bolton what efforts he was referring to, he replied: “I will not go into details.”
In 2019, Bolton, in his capacity as national security adviser, endorsed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s call to the military to support his efforts to oust current President Nicolas Maduro. “I feel there are other things you are not telling me outside of Venezuela,” the CNN anchor said, asking Bolton to respond: “I’m sure there is such a thing.
To be sure, Bolton’s remarks come as no surprise to those who follow US foreign policy.
Speaking to Fox TV about the unveiling of the coup plot in Turkey on July 15, 2016, Bolton also did not hesitate to express his appetite and support for coups, saying in the television interview: “I have no sympathy in my heart for Erdogan … If he retires, I will not cry. ” . This is where President Joe Biden’s remarks before his election should come into play when he declared in a video clip recorded before his election to the New York Times editorial office that the United States can support opposition elements in Turkey to the course of political to change developments.
Biden also hinted that he would allow the United States to intervene directly in Turkey’s internal affairs.
“I still see that if we want to engage more directly as I did with them, we can support the elements of the Turkish leadership that are still present and get more of them and encourage them to take the reins and defeat Erdogan. “Biden said at the time,” Not by a coup, not by a random overthrow, but by the electoral process. “
On the other hand, Turkey’s Western allies have almost come to the conclusion that Turkey is no longer the country it once was, and that the nation will no longer abandon its love of democracy. They have deeply begun to believe that governments can only be changed by democratic institutions and elections or remain in power in Turkey.
Today, at a time when NATO is expanding and Turkey’s allies are aware of the country’s strategic importance to the Western bloc, it’s time to show solidarity with Turkey in its war on terrorist groups, whether it be the Gülen terrorist group, the PKK terrorist organization is. or its Syrian subsidiary, the YPG. The extradition of terror suspects by the governments of the countries in which they currently live to Turkey for fair trials will be the first step in showing their true support for democracy and their full solidarity with their ally Turkey.