-OpEd-

ISTANBUL — Years ago I told myself: “If there is another coup in this country, I will quit this profession…” Last night reminded me of that promise.

My conscience, my sense of self, my education… My faith in democracy… They were all saying the same thing. Once again I realized, democracy is the only way I can live: in a system in which parties and leaders get elected to their jobs and then leave with election.

This is the only thing I know for sure.

Friday night taught us some good lessons: None of the private television channels let this initiative impede their broadcast. Even those who were angry with the president took to the streets to show that they didn't support the attempted coup. No one supported this attempt: not the military leaders, nor opposition parties, and we saw people block the tanks. This means that in our country, our people, whether they vote for the ruling party or for another party, all of our citizens determined to protect their democracy.

Once again, we are reminded how much we should all value and appreciate our democracy.

Those who attempted the coup brought the country back by decades. For 36 years we have been trying to make a clean break with past coups. We held elections — that's how political leaders came to power; and lost it that way too.

Do you see, those who led the coup, what you made of our country? A third world country where coups are commonplace. This nation will never forgive you…

How moved we once were when we saw the picture of Boris Yeltsin on the tank. That image ended the coup attempt in Russia. We saw similar scenes in Turkey. The people got on the tanks and at that moment the pro-coup soldiers were defeated.

Did you see what happened to the soldier you put in that tank? The state he was in? Do you see how alone you are when you don't have the people on your side?