Kahraman says new shelter will be built in Turkish Parliament as part of post-coup attempt renovation
AA photoThe Turkish Parliament will have a shelter befitting “today’s civil defense norms,” Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman said on Sept. 20, announcing a renovation of the building following the failed coup attempt of July 15. The overhaul will perpetuate the memory of the coup attempt as it will preserve and showcase parts of the damage caused by the military rebellion.
Kahraman discussed a series of major renovation projects at the parliament building, including the construction of a shelter, after parts of it were severely damaged by jets’ strikes on the night of July 15.
He said reconstruction with the participation of 62 companies would be carried out as part of a “people build the people’s parliament” campaign, including a shelter that would meet today’s standards as the current one was shown to be “insufficient.”
A water depot, generator’s room, and health room would all be included in the reconstruction project, Kahraman added.
“All broken places, doors and windows in the parliament have been fixed. We have, however, decided to preserve the bomb damage in the Prime Minister’s room as a place called a ‘democracy museum.’ Indeed, with this purpose we have shown these parts to visiting foreign delegations. There is a ditch in the garden where the bomb landed. There is a car crushed by a tank. The ditch and the car will be closed over and the road between the ditch and the building will be called the ‘Democracy Road.’ On the side of it, pictures from the coup night will be put up. A committee of 15 people is continuing its technical work on this matter,” said Kahraman.
“As you know, there was a declaration published with the contribution of all four political parties [represented at parliament] shortly after the coup. The nation, without making party differentiation, protected democracy and prevented the coup. My hope is that the era of coups has now ended in Turkey, but it is appropriate to make this [memory of the coup defeat] live on,” he added.
His statement came one day after main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu argued that the current practice of preserving some of the damaged parts and even showing them to visiting foreign officials damaged Turkey’s image, signaling weakness rather than strength after the coup attempt.