Great people and a brave leader

 17 Jul 2016 - 1:44

Dr. Khalid Al-Shafi


What happened in Turkey on Friday night looks like a work of imagination or something straight out of fiction. We watched with awe Turkish people confronting tanks, military units, and war planes with complete confidence and determination to defeat the military coup against an elected government and its leader. The memory of the Turks is full of bitterness and sadness caused by the military regimes endured in past decades.

It was a tough and unusual night for Turks due to the rapidly unfolding events and the connections of the perpetrators of this crime with foreign forces – whether they are individuals or institutions. In fact, some forces had even tried to portray a false picture – by trying to leak information and statements to the press that the coup was ‘successful’, that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had fled the country. Such rumours were aimed at demoralising the people and make them surrender to the forces which had committed this crime. 
But Turkish people were attentive and fully aware of what was happening and instantaneously rose up against the coup. They came out onto the streets to protect the constitution, the legitimacy of the elected leadership and the democratic system of the country.
Turkey has experienced several coups since 1960 and the last one was in 1997 when the military forced the then prime minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign.  The military leaders always claim that their aim is to protect secularism, and this time they claimed to protect democracy and human rights -- by overthrowing an elected government and bombing parliament and government institutions!  
The developments on Friday night have created a new roadmap for Turks and their brave leaders.   
Erdogan has made history by defeating the military coup, protecting democracy and the constitution and by refusing to submit the country to military rule, which would have taken the country back to those dark days when people languished for decades under hateful military regimes. 
Since coming to power, Erdogan has made his country one of the superpowers of the world and the huge progress the country witnessed under his rule had actually made people firmly stand beside him against the coup.
What we saw in Turkey is an example of the exemplary relationship of a leader with his people, of a leader’s credibility, his readiness to stand against violations of the constitution, people’s trust in him, and the legitimacy of his leadership – great qualities which many Arab and Islamic countries lack.