Two years ago today, Turkey faced the most dire test of its democracy since 1980.
On July 15, 2016, the people of Turkey took to the streets and faced down gunfire and tanks to prevent putschists from toppling the elected government. While the failure of the coup d’état was a triumph for Turkish democracy, it cost the lives of more than 240 people and injured a further 2,000.
Two years later, we must not forget the cost of coup attempt and its impact on Turkey. On that day and following, individuals in Turkey from across a wide variety of political parties and beliefs stood in solidarity against the putsch and in defense of democracy. As Turkey continues to recover from the night of July 15, 2016, Turkish Heritage Organization believes that it remains of vital importance to maintaining a spirit of unity and solidarity against challenges to democracy.
As a Turkish-American organization, it is also of paramount importance to us that the U.S.-Turkey relationship be strengthened, not weakened, in the aftermath of the July 2016 attempted coup. At THO, we are committed to offering a platform for dialogue on issues and opportunities in the U.S.-Turkey relationship. We believe that through honest, constructive discussion between stakeholders, the U.S. and Turkey can work together to address pressing concerns in the bilateral relationship.
We continue to urge the United States to remain committed to supporting the democracy of Turkey – its NATO ally – and to exploring opportunities for collaboration on other critical issues, including both regional and global security efforts.
The passage of time does not lessen the immediacy of the events of July 15, 2016, nor does it relegate the coup attempt to the annals of history. Turkey and its people continue to live the impact of the coup every day. We condemn the heinous coup attempt of July 15, 2016, mourn the loss of innocent lives, and recognize the people of Turkey for their valiant efforts both then and now in support of their country’s democracy.
We would like to take this opportunity to inform you of an event THO is organizing on the anniversary of the coup, on July 16th in Washington, DC, the main speaker will be retired Commander Salih Zeki Colak.
Details of the program can be found here: Second Anniversary of the July 15 Coup Attempt
While honoring the victims of the coup, we express our appreciation for the Turkish people for standing up for their democracy.
Turkish Heritage Organization