Never, ever in my life I thought I would witness a coup. I heard of coups. I watched documentaries of coups. But for me that was so 1980s, and should have never granted a comeback. And never, ever in my life I was as scared as I was on that Friday night. I am not even going to comment on how coups are horrible. Coups are never the solution. Fullstop.
I was scared. First I was scared of the jets flying so close above our heads and of the sonic boom that we all had to learn about. I am very sorry for little kids that had to hear that sound, I am very sorry for little kids that grew up with that sound, I am very sorry for people who have to live like this on everyday basis.
Then I saw the people who were out in the streets, literally lying in front of the tanks to save the democracy (or I would say save their votes, and their President), looking nothing like me or my friends.
I am not going to lie, I was scared of what I saw. I was scared for myself, who just a few hours ago came back from her NGO job, cycling to the home that she shares with her boyfriend, cook dinner and drank some wine together. It is funny how these small, everyday things that you take for granted becomes so valuable when you think you will loose them.
So I spent the 24 hours after the coup attempt crying for our bad fate, making my boyfriend promise that we will move to Europe when they bring back death sentence and being extremely worried about everything that was going on.
At around 2 am on Saturday, I heard a group of teens (mostly women) from the street yelling Tekbir (Allahuekber). Which reminded of me of another very hot summer staying up late three years ago. It was during Gezi. It was the same group of teens yelling Allahuekber, but I was not scared back then cause I thought I was in power. And then I started thinking: Maybe they were also very worried during Gezi? There was a big poster with “Shut up Tayyip” written on it, which stood in Taksim for two weeks. We defeated the police, and stayed in Taksim for almost two weeks making Taksim our home. I know that it was nonviolent and we wouldn’t harm anyone but people outside the Gezi bubble didn’t know that. The broadcast media calling us terrorist, they had all the reasons to be scared.
So I guess half of the nation is scared of me and I am scared of them. But why so? Can’t we just live together, without being scared? This is it. This is us. This is the country that you have to live in. These were the people that were living with us all along. We were not seeing each other. We were not crossing our pathways but this is it.
We don’t have any reason to be less hopeful about the future. I don’t believe in anything that AKP says, I don’t have to. But I do believe in myself. And I actually believe in others. I know that we have come a long way.
So my friends, don’t be scared. Facebook and twitter is like an infinite abyss of hopelessness, don’t let that drag you in. If you want a better world, work for it. No one can or will save this world for you. That is why coups are messed up. You can’t have the military brining you democracy or peace. As a matter of fact, you can’t even have the government brining you democracy out of nowhere. No one is going to give you your freedom and your rights in a silver platter. You have to show up and do all the work if you want to change things.
I originally wrote this piece on 18 July. It has been a week since, and many things have changed but my belief in the power of ordinary people stays the same, even stronger.