Category 7

Examples of People’s Resistance Examples as the True Preventers of the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt’s Success.

The People’s Revolutionary Resistance Against The July 15 Coup Attempt


Key words: July 15, people, parallel, resistance


The international and multi-dimensional bloody terrorist coup/civil war attempt1, which the organized global messianic religious parallel structure2, which is called the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) launched under the name of the Peace at Home Council on the night of July 15, 2016, resulted in failure due to the revolutionary resistance of the people. That people put up resistance to coup soldiers’ ruthless attacks with military vehicles and weapons is a rare epic indeed. This study aims to explain the religious, social and political dimensions of the determinant role of the Turkish people in obstructing the coup attempt.

People in the revolutionary resistance

Turkish people as a whole were the subject-actors in the revolutionary resistance to the coup. Society’s internal dynamics and values are important factors that led people from various sections of society to show a clear stance against the coup.

It is necessary to mention that some nongovernmental organizations and religious groups took part in the people’s resistance by making calls to resist and by going to the squares from the beginning of the news about the coup attempt.

It is necessary to mention a very important and vigorous power that mobilized the people’s inner dynamics. This power comes from the strong political leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s charismatic leadership motivated the people and was effective in keeping them stronger, decisive and faithful in resisting the coup attempt.3

Undoubtedly, the anti-coup stance of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), opposition party leaders such as Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, and parties such as the Saadet Party, Great Union Party (BBP) and Republican People’s Party (CHP) should be mentioned here, too.

It should not be forgotten that the Presidency of Religious Affairs’ call to recite the salas and call to prayers from the mosques was heeded.4 The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the media, some military and police officers were also important actors in the people’s resistance.

When these actors are evaluated together, it is seen that all are elements of people’s resistance.

Model realities in the resistance

People showed their great struggle against the coup attempt in their revolutionary resistance on July 15 and the following days. Civilian actors took action and flocked to Istanbul’s Bosporus Bridge (since renamed the July 15 Martyrs Bridge), which was one of the earliest scenes of coup activities, starting at about 10 p.m.5 The people came from all over Istanbul and neighboring provinces and surrounded the Atatürk International Airport gave a similar image. In Taksim Square, unarmed people stood up to coup soldiers’ gunfire. Police and the people struggled against the traitors and arrested them.

In Ankara, the people along with the police, some soldiers and other actors immediately began to put up resistance at strategic locations such as the Presidential Palace, Parliament, the Chief of General Staff headquarters, the Prime Ministry, and General Directorate of Security building where putschists attacked with airplanes, helicopters, tanks and guns. Kızılay Square in Ankara was another scene of resistance against coup soldiers’ heavy attacks.6 Also, the attacks on the Gölbaşı Special Operations Department and the Department of Police Aviation where about 50 security staff fell as martyrs should not be forgotten.

Coup soldiers attacked, invaded and tried to capture the building of Turkish State Media, the Turkish Telekom Directorate, Istanbul Municipality, the AK Party’s Provincial Organization building and media organizations until the morning of July 16. Here as well, people acted immediately and took an active role in neutralizing the coup attempt. Unfortunately, people were killed while resisting, and many people were also injured.7

In addition to all these examples of collective resistance, it is necessary to mention a few of the exemplary figures who participated in the resistances with intention and spirit, but whose individual aspects also attracted attention. Martyrs Erol Olçok and his son Abdullah Tayyip Olçok, Ömer Halisdemir, İlhan Varank, Türkan Türkmen Tekin, Zeynep Sağır and others are certainly at the forefront. Indeed, all Turkey’s people have written a great legend of resistance.

Turkish people, in their unique struggle, followed approaches and methods such as standing directly in front of soldiers, persuading them, posing obstacles in fronts of military vehicles, tanks, airplanes and headquarters with trucks, transporters and tractors, preventing planes from taking off by burning their tailings, bait balls and tires, stopping tanks by choking their exhausts, helping soldiers and police struggle against those attempting the coup. However, in their resistance, the people did not harm anybody’s property – official or civilian – and only shot at and engaged in violence with the soldier.

Religious, social, and political dimensions of the resistance 

Although the coup attempt has been linked to a “pretentious religious exploiter structure”9, the religious dimension in the people’s resistance was sincere. People resisted by shouting Allahu Ekber, religious slogans and with the sound of the calls to prayer and salas. Undoubtedly, among those who took part in the resistance were people from different political parties, ideologies, political views, religious beliefs and religious groups. But when we look at the general view of the people’s resistance, we can see that religious color manifested itself. Also, the anti-coup role played by the Presidency of Religious Affairs and its staff of preachers, imams, muezzins and muftis also made great contributions to the religious dimension of people’s resistance. Calls to prayer, salas and other messages recited from the mosques and the Quranic verses read in resistance areas provided religious motivation for the people’s revolutionary resistance and played an important role in the lack of violence, that goods and property were not harmed and that illegitimate things were not part of the resistance. On the night of July 15 and subsequent 27 nights of democracy watches, the religious dimension ensured the interlocking and brotherhood of the people in the resistance.8

In the social dimension of the people’s resistance, we can see how society fought against this inauspicious coup attempt with strong unity. With the resistance, people showed their will with a collective consciousness and soul to advocate for their socio-cultural, economic and political accumulations. The resistance has strengthened the spirit of Turkish society in terms of solidarity, cohesion and integration and increased the hope to go strongly to the future. No matter what political, ideological or religious group, people showed that they can put forward the “Yenikapı spirit.”

As for the political dimension of the resistance, in terms of sociology and political science, the integration of the people and the state was one of the most remarkable dimensions. The state and statesmen felt the strength of the people in favor of themselves. People ran to resist crying the importance of the state and declaring that the state is itself and neutralized the plotters with the reflex of protecting their state and government.


The results of this study are as follows:

1. The July 15 terrorist coup attempt has a pretentious, exploitative, religious dimension originating from the organized global messianic parallel religious structure.

2. The Turkish people’s resistance was revolutionary, and if the resistance had not occurred, the coup attempt would not have ben prevented.

3. Civilians resisted the coup attempt at the expense of their lives, filled airports, squares and military headquarters in resistance to the coup plotters and foiled the attempt with much loss of life and injury.

4. The Turkish people’s resistance has many religious, social, and political dimensions. When all dimensions are taken into consideration together, it is seen that people revealed their unity, brotherhood and integration through the resistance and demonstrated one of the most beautiful examples of integration of the state and its people.

5. The resistance showed that unarmed people can win against a military or armed power.

6. That unarmed people defeated a military force without destroying state or private property, self-confidently and through original methods is a role model for the world in terms of people’s movements and revolutions.

1. Beril Dedeoğlu, “Coup Attempt: International Terrorist Attack”, http://www.dailysabah.com/columns/beril-dedeoglu/2016/07/17/coup-attempt-international-terrorist-attack (25/01/2017).
2. Ejder Okumuş, “17 Aralık: Küresel Mesiyanik Bir Darbe Teşebbüsü”, Yeni Şafak, 02/01/2014.
3. Ejder Okumuş, “Siyasal Liderliğin Tarihi Rolü”, Yeni Şafak, 10/01/2017.
4. See Nebi Miş vd. 15 Temmuz Darbe Girişimi Toplumsal Algı Araştırması, Seta Yay., 2016; Ejder Okumuş, “15 Temmuz Darbe Girişimi ve Diyanet’in Tarihî Rolü”, Anadolu Ajansı, http://aa.com.tr/tr/15-temmuz-darbe-girisimi/15-temmuz-darbe-girisimi-ve-diyanet-in-tarihi-rolu/660288 (07/10/2016).
5. http://aa.com.tr/tr/15-temmuz-darbe-girisimi/15-temmuz-gecesi-bogazici-koprusunde-yasananlar-mobeseye-yansidi/612940 (29/01/2017).
6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vz6T0kX3BI (29/01/2017); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ3Z2t0AOH8 (29/01/2017).
7. http://t24.com.tr/haber/15-temmuz-gecesi-dakika-dakika-neler-yasandi,353315 (29/01/2017); http://www.iha.com.tr/haber-15-temmuz-darbe-girisimi-gecesi-yasananlar-dakika-dakika-iddianamede-605465/ (29/01/2017); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkX_Zf27Ix0 (29/01/2017).
8. http://aa.com.tr/tr/15-temmuz-darbe-girisimi/15-temmuz-gecesi-bogazici-koprusunde-yasananlar-mobeseye-yansidi/612940 (29/01/2017); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0BA5TghGd0 (29/01/2017).
9. Fahrettin Altun, “Biz Burada Vatan Savunmasındayız”, http://www.sabah.com.tr/yazarlar/fahrettinaltun/2016/07/18/biz-burada-vatan-savunmasindayiz (18/07/2016); Ejder Okumuş, “Gösterişçi Dindarlıktan 15 Temmuz’a: Paralel Yapı”, Anadolu Ajansı, 08/08/2016 (http://aa.com.tr/tr/analiz-haber/gosterisci-dindarliktan-15-temmuza-paralel-yapi/623716); Ejder Okumuş, “Öz-Denetim Toplumundan Göz-Denetim Toplumuna: Para-Derin Yapı”, Yeni Şafak, 09/04/2014.

Category 7

Examples of People’s Resistance Examples as the True Preventers of the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt’s Success.

1. Ejder OKUMUŞ

The People’s Revolutionary Resistance Against The July 15 Coup Attempt


A Night That Solidified Democracy

3. Esma Adiloviç HALİLOVİC

A Nation’s Strength Lies Within The Unity Of Its People