On 15 July 2016, what had started as a lovely summer night, evolved almost into a horrifying nightmare for the Turkish democracy. Members of a sleeper cell, lurking within the state institutions, attempted to stage a coup in a striking show of treachery.
The perpetrators belonged to the sinister Fetullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO), a terror cult, which assaulted Turkish people and its democratic institutions with total and absolute disregard for civilian lives on the night of 15 July.
The citizens of Turkey responded with vitality in defiance of this nefarious coup attempt. Their daring and bold resistance frustrated the plotter’s treacherous designs and saved Turkish democracy.
By the time President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan returned to the Istanbul Atatürk airport, hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens had poured out into the streets, confronting terrorists in guise of military uniforms who were armed with heavy artillery, tanks and assault rifles, in exactly the same way as enshrined wonderfully in the Turkish National Anthem, ‘‘Render your chest as armor and your body as trench! Stop this disgraceful rush!’’
The courage and deeds of the Turkish nation at that night did justice to these words, also eternalized in the Turkish National Anthem, proving that they may be ‘‘armored with walls of steel, but I have borders guarded by the mighty chest of a believer.’’
While the world was witnessing the heroic defense of democracy by the Turkish people, scores of Somalis also hit the streets of the country’s capital, Mogadishu to denounce coup attempt in Turkey. The protesters marched through the city and gathered near the Turkish embassy, where they declared their support for the Turkish nation, in unique show of solidarity.
The mosques of Somalia were also brimming up with believers, hands raised in du’a, praying God for divine assistance in order for their Turkish brothers and sisters to overcome the disgraceful assault on their democracy.
We especially owe a debt of gratitude to Somalia, for the resolute stance against FETÖ. Eliminating FETO presence completely in the immediate aftermath of the malicious coup attempt was a clear sign of our brotherhood and unshakable solidarity in the fight against terrorism.
Looking ahead, we take our strength from this extraordinary feat by the Turkish nation and encouraged by the heartfelt sympathy and resolute solidarity extended to us by the Somali people.
Somalia is now at crossroads and needs political stability, security and development more than ever. However, as the events unfolded on the night of 15 July last year demonstrated notably, no challenge is too great when confronted by the insurmountable will of the people.
I would to emphasize that Turkey believes in the bright future of Somalia. We will also accompany you through this perilous journey ahead, just as you stood by us on that extraordinary night.
Finally, on behalf of my nation, I would like to express my gratitude once again for Somali nation that deserves much more than the thanks we can extend them.
Turkish Ambassador to Somalia