One of the most critical moments that led to the collapse of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey involved a member of Turkish Special Forces, Senior Master Sgt. Omer Halisdemir, who was killed in the line of duty that night.
Maj. Gen. Zeki Aksakallı, the commander of Turkish military’s Special Forces Command (OKK), informed his close Guard Master Sgt. Ömer Halisdemir who was waiting for him in Special Forces Army Center to not to accept any Command from other people. On the night of the coup attempt, as the duty noncommissioned officer for the night, he carried out a direct order from Maj. Gen. Aksakalli who called and told him:
“I give you very important order about future of our nation and state. Lt. General Semih Terzi is a traitor, kill him. I know in the end maybe they will kill you”.
Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi, consequently found to be a key coup plotter, accompanied by some 30 special forces personnel, attempted to take over the operations center of the Special Forces Command at Golbasi just outside of Ankara.
Terzi, who flew in on a helicopter with his unit from Bingol, was just about to enter the headquarters when someone came from behind and shot him twice in the head.
The shots came from Halisdemir. He carried out the order without hesitation and then stood alone against the coup plotters. Halisdemir died seconds later after was shot dead by Terzi’s entourage. – but his action is said to have broken the rebel chain of command and played a vital role in ensuring the coup attempt floundered.
The ultimate sacrifice made by Omer Halisdemir, married with two children, was hailed by Turkish leaders as the turning point of the night and turned his home village of Cukurkuyu in central Anatolia into a place of pilgrimage.