July 15 to mark fest for our democracy, says Turkish PM
The Turkish Parliament will discuss over a number of new measures to prevent future attempts to stage a military coup in Turkey, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, as legal procedures have already been launched to heavily punish plotters. Yıldırım said July 15 will be marked as the democracy fest for Turkey as the coup attempt was foiled thanks to the prudence of the Turkish people.
With the normalization of life in the country as the police and government-loyal military elements prevented the coup, Yıldırım held a press conference at his office along with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar who was saved from the hands of plotters after hours of captivity.
One critical question raised to Yıldırım was whether the government would consider re-installing capital punishment for those military personnel on charges of treason.
“As you know the death penalty had been removed from our legal system. We will discuss with other political party leaders on what further measures we should take to prevent such future attempts,” Yıldırım said, without directly responding to the content of the question. Political party leaders and lawmakers will meet at the Parliament at 3.00 p.m. in a special session.
The coup attempt on July 15 was a black stain on Turkish democracy, Yıldırım said, but could be turned into the fest of democracy thanks to the Turkish people’s loyalty to democracy and its freedoms. “Our people gave the best response to this terror gang. July 15 has now turned into the fest of our democracy,” he said, praising the citizens who stood in front of tanks in Istanbul and elsewhere in the country. “We could therefore get rid of a very big trouble,” Yıldırım said, praising those civilians and security personnel who have lost their lives while opposing the plotters.
More inglorious than the PKK
Political parties, non-governmental organizations, media and all other institutions who have expressed their support with the government against plotters played a crucial role in faltering the attempt, the prime minister stressed.
“Those who have committed terror by using the state’s weapons, tanks, warplanes, ammunition against the Turkish people were much more inglorious than the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party),” Yıldırım said.
161 persons were killed and 1,440 wounded during the clashes, the prime minister said, adding 2,836 soldiers have been arrested, including high-ranking officers.
The prime minister said the first phase against plotters have been ended and it is time to pass to the second phase in which plotters will undergo prosecution to get necessary punishment, the prime minister stated.
Force commanders on duty
One vague issue was whether land and gendarmerie forces could also be saved from the plotters, Yıldırım said “Everything is under the control. They will soon on their duty.” The prime minister also informed that the secretary-general of the presidency was in his way to home.