Six Years On: Lights Are Out in Turkey Since July 15, 2016

Engin Y.
5 min readJul 14, 2022

Years have passed over the bloody and failed coup attempt. Even with abundant information and incriminating evidence however, the masterminds and the perpetrators of the coup-attempt are still at large in Turkey or elsewhere. The incumbent Turkish government under Erdogan seems confident and elated with all developments around the coup investigations, especially for concealing the facts about the attempt and those behind it.

Meanwhile, thousands of oppressed are out there and struggling to have their rights restored and impartial justice to be served. This number reaches to millions including the families of those dismissed with statutory decrees (KHK) and who lost their business and assets simply for opposing the Erdogan regime. Within these six years, almost nothing has changed for these people. Their lives of hell sear them deeper each day.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, National Intelligence Organization head Hakan Fidan, and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar are top suspects of the fake coup attempt staged on the night of July 15, 2016. Two strong arguments for this claim maintain that experts on military coups do not deem the July 15 coup attempt as one due its manner of planning and perpetration, and neither Fidan nor Akar honored the summons issued by the Parliamentary Investigation Committee after the so-called coup attempt as they feared something if questioned.

Yet, people from all walks of life including journalists, lawyers, prosecutors, academics, teachers, doctors, government officials, military personnel and police officers were arrested on false claims of having perpetrated the coup attempt. Thousands are still behind the bars. Injustice and inhumane practices including tortures and rapes, abductions and forced disappearances are a few examples from today’s Turkey under Erdogan’s reign. While the three strongmen of Turkey evade justice and inquiries, common people are severely punished and oppressed by the regime.

The most crucial thing to mention here is the absence of free media in the country. With this, the regime and its elements could easily manipulate the current situation and manipulated public perception and consent as they wished. Before the staged coup attempt, the Erdogan regime took the control of the media and shuttered all opposing ones especially the Zaman, Ipek and Samanyolu media groups. Majority of the remaining media outlets turned dead eyes on these seizures and looming threat, wishfully thinking this is a clash between the Erdogan regime and the Hizmet Movement. Even if it has not been so, they kept silent back then. Now, most have understood this is not a clash between Erdogan and the Hizmet Movement but an onslaught against all who opposes the Chief and his regime.

It is also unfortunate people are divided in rigid segments and denominations in Turkey, and no one cares what happens to others. Governments under the Erdogan regime commit crimes and oppress subordinate groups to consolidate more power. This is how the Erdogan regime achieved a sweeping control over almost every affair and person in Turkey. Due to these significant reasons, the true colors of the coup attempt on the night of July 15, 2016 has not been unraveled yet.

This being the case with all such incidents, Turkey’s economy teetering at the edge of collapse as governmental and institutional managements rotted, human rights deteriorated, justice system fell apart and the country turned into an open prison where people cannot breathe and lose their will to live. The Erdogan regime has been increasing the dose of oppression to silence opposition and remain in power longer than it should last.

Each year after the fake coup, things have gotten more complicated and slipped from the regime’s control. Even though the Erdogan regime enjoys all benefits of absolute power, the nation severely suffers from bad governance and economic crises. Hence, the next year will not be easy for the Erdogan regime while the presidential election looms on the horizon. The election must be held within a year; yet, a snap election is also in the books. The Erdogan regime has only one option: winning the election. The chief and the officials of the regime know well that once they lose, they will be dragged into court or pursued relentlessly for the crimes they committed during their 20-year reign marred with corruption, collaboration with crime syndicates, leading organized crime, and planning and staging several false flag operations like July 15 coup attempt. This is why, the summer of 2022 and onward will be hotter year for all able-bodied political parties in Turkey, especially Erdogan’s ‘ruining’ party AKP. The forthcoming election could be the opposition parties’ last chance to get rid of the Erdogan regime before the last exit to save the country from falling in an abyss.

Formed into an alliance against the Erdogan regime, the opposition parties seem doing good so far. Erdogan and his crew are visibly distracted. They know this election will not be a usual walk in the park. Hence, they sow more flak upon the opposition each day to reap mistakes that may favor their oppressive regime. Meanwhile, the opposition alliance treads carefully to avoid this trap. Erdogan looks for alternatives to harvest the wind to his advantage.

To make this happen, the regime conducts political operations against the opposition parties especially the CHP and the HDP, the fraction known as the Ergenekon (secular ultra-nationalist organization), and illegal immigrants as a show-off. No trump cards in the hands of the regime seem to work so far. The opposition must have taken a page from the 1992 US election Democrat Party playbook to say, “It’s economy, stupid” to Erdogan as a relentless economic crisis burns pockets and upturns society in Turkey. The lovers and haters of the regime demand a swift and sustainable solution to recover economy from nosedive. The Erdogan regime, having locked its sight to power consolidation, can no longer help recovering economy.

To address the economic issues, the government must restore justice and let the institutions function first. The Erdogan regime does not dare to do this while the regime leaders and officials ride the wave in organized crime. They simply would not care to put the country back on its track and find themselves behind the bars. This is why the details and facts of the staged July 15 coup attempt have yet to be revealed. This coming election and possible win of the opposition alliance could become a milestone to unravel the case of July 15 coup attempt and the perpetrators.

Now, a new documentary is on air. A new documentary telling the stories of military cadets in Turkey, hundreds of whom were unjustly convicted due to their alleged involvement in a failed coup in 2016, has premiered on YouTube, drawing widespread attention.

Titled “Mavi Otobüs” (Blue Bus), the 44-minute documentary, subtitled in 14 languages and which gives voice to six air force cadets who talk about the key events that unfolded before, during and after the attempted coup on July 15, 2016, was released on the “Askeri Öğrenci Komitesi” (Committee of Military Cadets) YouTube channel two days before the sixth anniversary of the abortive putsch. It’s a must watch documentary to understand what really happened on that day!

Originally published at on July 14, 2022.