6 years on, families in Türkiye still grieve over those killed resisting 2016 coup attempt
Defeated coup left 251 people dead, countless children orphans, spouses widows, widowers
Though six years have passed since the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016 in Türkiye, the pain is still fresh for the families of those killed resisting the coup plotters.
The families spoke to Anadolu Agency about the bottomless sadness they have endured since that fateful night when dozens were killed by members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Gulzerin Kilic is the mother of Mehmet Ali Kilic, who was one of the youngest victims of the coup attempt at 22 years old. She said her son heard of the putsch on his way home in Istanbul from a trip to the store, deciding instead to help repulse it at the Bogazici Bridge, now known as the July 15 Martyrs Bridge, where 34 people were killed that night.
Grief-stricken, Kilic said her son's death transformed her life.
"My son used to say: 'I'm going to be a very good engineer for my state and nation.' They broke my child's dreams -- our dreams," said the mother.
Mehmet Ali was wounded on the bridge overlooking the Istanbul Strait and later died at the hospital.
FETO's coup attempt also claimed the life of security guard Mustafa Kaymakci, 37, who was killed by gunfire from a helicopter on the Bogazici Bridge, leaving his nine-month-old baby fatherless.
Fatma Kaymakci, his sister, said capital punishment, abolished in Türkiye in 2004, should be reinstated, adding that she did want to see the perpetrators go free.
Describing her grief, she said: "The nights don't become day for me. In normal deaths, one can return to their normal lives (but) I can't.
"My mother has gotten Alzheimer's (disease). My siblings have collapsed spiritually due to the sadness," she added.
Mete Sertbas, 49, was the local administrative head of the Acibadem neighborhood before he, too, was gunned down while trying to fend off the coup plotters.
His wife, Rahsan, said she and her son were crushed by the news of her husband's death.
"I called him. Someone answered and shouted into the phone: 'Mete is dead. He's dead!' I was struck ... 'Are you joking?' I said.
"I faltered," she recounted. "I felt horrible."
Sertbas said she still suffers from the loss of her husband and that her children miss their father very much. "We believe he's still with us."
Türkiye on Friday will commemorate those killed during the July 15, 2016 defeated coup.
Since its designation in October 2016, every year, the country marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day, with events held to commemorate those who lost their lives beating back the putschists and remembering the bravery of the nation.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people dead and 2,734 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
The attempt by FETO to overthrow the government began around 10 p.m. local time (1900GMT) on July 15, 2016, and was thwarted by 8 a.m. the next day.
Standing against the threat, the Turkish people courageously showed the world that they would not tolerate any attempt to thwart their will as expressed through their democratically elected government.
*Writing by Seda SevencanAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.