Istanbul, Turkey – On the fifth anniversary of Turkey’s coup attempt, many Turks prepared to head to the coast or their home towns for the nine-day Eid al-Adha holiday as the memory of that bloody night fades into history.
But for Nihal Olçok, whose 16-year-old son and ex-husband were killed by soldiers on the Bosphorus Bridge, the day is one of mourning tinged with anger at what she sees as failure to root out all those associated with the group held responsible for the failed putsch.
“Of course, the memories have receded,” she told Al Jazeera. “Now, we’re only remembered when this week arrives and we feel like we’ve been exploited.”
Her son Abdullah Tayyip Olçok and his father Erol Olçok were among 34 people killed on the Bosphorus crossing, since renamed the 15 July Martyrs Bridge, as thousands of Turks rushed to the streets to take on troops and tanks mobilised by the coup plotters.
In total, 251 died and more than 2,200 were wounded resisting rogue military units, while 36 military members involved in the attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were killed.
The Olçok family was close to Erdoğan, with advertising executive Erol having worked as his adviser since the mid-1990s. Erdoğan was moved to tears at the father and son’s funeral two days after the coup attempt.