Turkish deputy recalls failed coup attack on parliament

In an interview, Ilknur Inceoz tells how members of Turkish parliament responded to failed coup

Turkish deputy recalls failed coup attack on parliament

World Bulletin / News Desk

"It was one of the longest nights for Turkey in the past centuries," says a Turkish deputy, who was at the parliament building as it was attacked during the July 15 coup attempt. 

The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's Parliamentary Group Deputy Chairperson Ilknur Inceoz told how the members of Turkish Parliament responded to the failed coup. 

Inceoz was at home when she learned about the upcoming threat.

"It was around 9 p.m. when a heavy telephone traffic started with people telling about their concerns over a possible coup attempt after soldiers blocked the Bogazici Bridge [in Istanbul].

She immediately called the executive assistant of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ask about the president's well being. His assistant said Erdogan was in good condition confirming that "it was a coup attempt." 

Inceoz later went to the parliament building. Around 90 deputies from all the political parties were in the chamber where plenary sessions are normally held. 

She asked for the lights to be turned on to show everybody that the deputies were in the Parliament while people were in the streets. 

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the coup attempt, when rogue elements of the military tried to overthrow the country's democratically elected government.

Military jets bombed key points in the capital, including the Turkish parliament and the presidential complex in Bestepe district of the capital.

Tanks were also on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul, including its Bosphorus Bridge, to block the crossings from the city's Asian to European sides, announcing that the army had seized control of the country.

Senior officers who refused to participate in the attempt were taken hostage, including Chief of the General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, who was later rescued from putschists.

The deadly attempt martyred at least 246 and wounded more than 2,100 people.

"Regardless of our political differences, we were there in one body," Inceoz said.

"While we were delivering speeches, a bomb attack occurred against the parliament - which had not been targeted before, even by enemies."

Around 3 a.m. local time, the deputies went to the shelters inside the parliament building and they did not leave it until the morning after the attack. 

Erdogan called on deputies, in a phone conversation, not to be demoralized, she said, and quoted Erdogan as telling them: 

"Do not worry at all. This coup attempt will fail and Turkey will get through it powerfully."

So it did. Thousands of soldiers have been remanded into custody while investigations and operations are still underway to find the remaining coup attempters. 

The suspects are accused of having links to U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen and his Fetullah extremist Organization or Parallel State Structure (FETO/PDY) - which is allegedly behind the failed coup. 

Turkey has repeatedly called on U.S. for Gulen's extradition to the country to face trial.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Temmuz 2016, 15:46