It's been two years since the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government of Turkey on July 15, 2016. Much has changed in Turkey since then.
The defeat of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt was an historic victory for the people of Turkey.
A rogue military faction linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) led by US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen deployed fighter jets, helicopters and tanks in a bid to topple the democratically-elected government of Turkey.
At least 250 people were killed and more than were 2,000 wounded as the Turkish people took to the streets and resisted the armed soldiers.
Mass protests against the putschists showed the nation’s faith in democracy. For the first time in Turkey’s 94-year history, a military coup had failed.
Two years on, we look back, we look at what has changed, and we look to the future.
Two years under state of emergency
Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20, 2016, five days after the coup attempt to bring things fully under control.
It was renewed for the seventh time in April and is expected to be lifted on July 19.
Former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last week that the emergency would be lifted following the formation of the new cabinet.
Under the state of emergency, Turkey went to the polls two times. First, in April 2017 for a constitutional change referendum. And then on June 24 this year for presidential and parliamentary elections
With the April referendum, the country adopted a presidential system of governance and the change came into effect after the June 24 elections.
Military interference ruled out
The main reason behind the changes made to the system of governance was to curb the interference of the military in the matters of the elected government.
With the new executive presidency, the military is subject to investigation by the civilian State Supervisory Council for the first time in modern Turkish history
The military courts are restricted to only disciplinary issues concerning military officers.
The jurisdiction of these courts, which was defined very broadly beforehand, was transferred to civil courts.
The two slots for military judges on the 17-seat Constitutional Court were eliminated. The court now has 15 judges and all are civilians.
Three of the judges on the court are appointed by the parliament, and the remaining 12 seats are appointed by the president as before.
Martial law has also been abolished, for it was used by the military elite as a tool in the past to return the country to military rule. This is a symbolic but meaningful repeal.
Turkey's elections under the state of emergency drew criticism from some international organisations and opposition parties.
Even, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in April called on Turkey to postpone the June 24 vote, claiming it was impossible to hold genuinely democratic elections under an emergency.
However, the emergency made no difference to the results in both polls. France also held its elections under a state of emergency last year.
Many Turkish politicians say there's a 'double standard' to the way the country is criticised and have dismissed it as an attempt to influence public opinion.
Under the emergency, there has also been an increased crackdown on FETO members.
Return to normalcy
In these two years, more than 125,000 people have been suspended from their positions in the government, including 13,000 from the Turkish military over their alleged links to the FETO.
Between July 2016 and April 2018, over 77,000 people have been detained and are facing charges in court.
A commission was also set up to allow for any appeals.
More than a thousand people got their jobs back after successful appeals.
Around 286 cases have been opened so far, with 129 still ongoing. Thousands of others have yet to be charged.
“Many FETO suspects are on trial. I believe the cases will be decided by the end of this year. There’s also an appeals commission. Our biggest desire is for this phase to end as soon as possible and for things to return to normal. We’ll also compensate any unjust suffering,” Yildirim said earlier this month.
Turkey also seized all FETO-linked media organisations, foundations, schools, dormitories, hospitals and businesses.
Turkish officials said around 4262 companies have been closed for alleged links to the group.
The companies were put under the control of trustee panels, and then they were transferred to the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF).
Terror leader Gulen’s extradition
Meanwhile, Turkey has sought Gulen's extradition from the US, where he has been residing in an exclusive compound in Pennsylvania for the last few decades.
Washington insists that it needs evidence to extradite Gulen, suggesting that he may not have been directly involved in the coup.
But Ankara says it has provided enough evidence of his involvement.
In one incident, the direct link between the plotters and Gulen was pretty obvious.
A putschist general, named Hakan Evrim, tried to persuade then Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar - now the defence minister - by offering to put him in direct contact with Gulen, referring to him as “our opinion leader”, according to the indictment and Akar's statement.
However, the putschist general refused the claim later during the trial.
“Turkish people don't accept that the head of a terrorist group can continue his activities without any limits or difficulties after all he has done. Our people are furious and frustrated about this. The United States needs to accept that this issue is poisoning Turkey-US relations," Yildirim said.
Key suspects brought back to Turkey
Many FETO suspects have fled abroad to various countries including Greece, Germany and the United States.
But Turkey has been going after FETO's global network.
On Thursday, two alleged senior members of the group were flown back to Turkey from abroad as part of operations against the group, security sources said.
Isa Ozdemir and Salih Zeki Yigit were brought to Istanbul from Azerbaijan and Ukraine, respectively, following operations conducted by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT).
The two were wanted for “membership of an armed terrorist organisation."
In April, the MIT flew three more suspected members back to Turkey from the African state of Gabon in a covert operation.
Turkish intelligence officers had also brought six other suspected members back to the country last March following operations against the terror group’s branch in the Balkans.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech in April that Turkey has brought back 80 FETO members from abroad so far.
Threats on southern borders
The emergency measures in Turkey have not only been used to fight against FETO, but also to counter PKK and Daesh terrorists.
The PKK has been designated as a terror organisation by Turkey, the US and the European Union
In the past three years, hundreds of people have been killed in Daesh and PKK-claimed attacks. These include the attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, the blast near Besiktas football stadium and the Reina nightclub massacre.
Hundreds of suspected members of the terror groups were arrested under the emergency laws, with Turkish security officials foiling dozens of plots in the country.
During the same time, the YPG, which is the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, had also begun carrying out cross-border rocket attacks from Syrian territory it had under control along the border with Turkey.
Nearly one month after the coup attempt, Turkish tanks entered Syria to clear the border of Daesh and the YPG.
The operation, dubbed 'Euphrates Shield' ended in March 2017, securing a roughly 2,000-kilometre-square (772 square miles) area.
On January 20, 2018, the Turkish military launched another military operation, named Operation Olive Branch, to remove YPG and Daesh militants from Syria’s Afrin.
Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army members liberated the town three months later, nearly doubling the area cleared from terror groups.
“Turkish forces are now in a 350-km area of Iraq, stretching from Turkey’s Habur border to Iran, including Mount Qandil, where the terrorist PKK’s headquarters is located,” Yildirim said.
“In the past two years, Turkey changed its counter-terror policy from defense to offense, especially after the July 15 defeated coup attempt,” he added.