Not all heroes wear capes. These courageous women were killed in a series of two airstrikes targeting a police special operations division in Ankara the night of the coup defeat.
The July 15 defeated coup carried out by Fetullah Terrorist Organization came at a bloody cost: 251 deaths, and 2,200 injuries. For four women who lived and fought with valour, they paid the ultimate price when an airstrike took their lives.
Demet wasn’t always a member of the Police Special Operations Division. She was born in Ankara on January 26, 1985, and studied meteorology before joining the police force, eventually meeting her future husband there. They were married in 2009 and had a son together.
Demet was on duty the night of the coup. When she returned home to her family after her shift, she heard about the ongoing coup attempt and left home immediately.
“Stay with the child, we’ll be in touch,” she told her husband.
Terrorists targeted the Golbasi Special Operations Division twice with airstrikes, killing 17 police officers after the first airstrike, and a total of 42 after the second.
“Stand up, do not cry. Let's not make the enemies laugh. Martyrdom, martyrdom is the greatest position,” were her last words to her family according to reporting by Yenisafak.
Sevda was close to her family. Her mother, speaking to Anadolu Agency relates that she won entrance into Special Operations while studying in Mersin University.
“We used to talk 2 to 3 times a day,” she says.
In their last phone call Sevda told her mother, “I will not come this Eid holiday, but the next.”
“Fate wouldn’t have it, and she would not come,” her mother says tearfully. “She died a martyr before Eid al Adha.”
In another telephone conversation before her death, she told her mother, “I am thinking of getting married, mother. I want to have children now.”
That fateful night would see her future and dreams, and that of many others snuffed out.
Gulşah served as the Deputy Special Operations Commissioner the night of the airstrike on the Golbasi Special Operations Division. She was only 24 years old.
During the night of the attack, her relatives called her frequently to get news on what was happening.
She answered to one, “Don’t call me now, there’s an attack. I will call you.”
Her father was still uneasy, and tried to call her after midnight but could not reach her. The family heard that she was seriously injured, then discovered that she was martyred.
Gulsah, described as courageous and intelligent, was in her final year of art school when she decided to become a special operator. She ranked 60th in an exam given to over a 1000 people.
Her hometown, Hatay, named an elementary school after her. A kindergarten was also named after her in Sakarya.
Commissioner Zeynep dedicated her life to service and was buried in her hometown, Ankara, in accordance with her will. She joined young, served in Kuwait for 4 years, and married a retired special operations officer, after which they were blessed with two children.
She gave nearly 16 years of her life to public service, before being ripped away from her family in the same airstrike.