July 15 marks a major turning point in modern Turkey’s history. On July 15, 2016, the Republic of Turkey has faced its biggest challenge – a brutal coup attempt carried out by a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Although Turkey has a history of coups (1960 – 1997) and a coup attempt through e-memorandum (2007), for the first time in its 94 year-old history, Turkey was able to thwart the coup attempt thanks to the unwavering solidarity of Turkish people for democracy and freedom. As famously quoted by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkish people once again proved that “Sovereignty unconditionally, belongs to the people”.
July 15 coup attempt took a considerable toll on the Turkish nation and created enormous domestic, regional, and international risks. The Turkish government and the majority of the Turkish public believe that the coup attempt was organized by Fethullah Gulen and his followers (labeled as the Fethullah Gulen Terror Organization, or FETO).
Exactly one year later, as the Republic of Turkey continues to recover from the ensuing chaos of this coup attempt and remember those who lost their lives, THO strongly believes maintaining this spirit of unity and solidarity that thwarted the coup attempt will be the key for Turkey to stay on its course of democracy, freedom and prosperity.
July 15 will never be erased from the minds and hearts of people who heroically stood up to defend their national self-determination. As THO, we celebrate the victory of Turkey’s national will and respectfully remember those who lost their lives to ensure the safety and security of its democracy.
We would like to re-emphasize our commitment to improving and strengthening relations between the long-time allies. We strongly believe, addressing today’s highly complex regional and global challenges as allies and striving together, will depend on the safety and prosperity of the Republic of Turkey.
Once again, THO strongly condemns any attempt to undermine Turkey’s democracy, freedom and prosperity - tenets upon which the Republic was founded. We continue to urge the United States to be supportive of its ally’s democracy during these extremely challenging times and continue its cooperation in other critical areas such as counterterrorism, NATO obligations, and regional security efforts.