By Gultekin Yetgin
GIRESUN, Turkey (AA) – Three years later, the parents of a martyr on Sunday remembered their son, one of the hundreds killed on July 15, 2016 during the deadly coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) against the Turkish government.
That fateful night, Cengiz Hasbal was on Istanbul’s Bogazici (Bosphorus) Bridge – since renamed the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge – resisting the coup attempt along with his brother Huseyin.
Ahmet Hasbal, their father, told Anadolu Agency that his sons were at the forefront of a group of democracy supporters headed to the bridge, which had been barricaded by putschist forces.
“When they arrived at the bridge, [the putschists] opened fire on them. Cengiz was shot by the second volley of bullets. The bullets went past Huseyin, but Cengiz collapsed.
“We went [to Istanbul] the next day, but Cengiz was martyred 19 days later.”
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara 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.
Hasbal said the pain over the loss of his son never leaves him, explaining: “There is not a single day over the last three years that we have forgotten him. The people who were martyred for their country and nation are unforgettable.”
Durdane Hasbal, the boys’ mother, said she hopes her son is at peace in heaven, adding: “I’m not the only mother of a martyr, but I am proud to be one.”
Turkey marks June 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day with events honoring those who lost their lives beating back the putschists and to remember the bravery of the nation.
*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur