Nation marks unity against coup plot
As part of the ceremonies, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan first met with veterans and the relatives of martyrs, speaking with them in front of the Presidency. They then marched to a monument erected for the day, accompanied by the July 15 Anthem performed by a Mehter, or Ottoman janissary band.
Erdoğan laid flowers at the Martyrs’ Monument and prayed for those who perished. After leaving flowers at the Martyrs’ Monument, Erdoğan attended a program where participants recited verses from the Quran held in Beştepe Millet Mosque.
Ankara accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through infiltrations of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and the judiciary.
“On the anniversary of July 15, we commemorate our heroic martyrs, who gave their lives for democracy and homeland with mercy and our veterans with gratitude,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in a Twitter post.
“On the night of July 15, we showed the world that we would not kneel before any human power other than the will of the nation. This honor is granted to very few nations,” Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said on Twitter.
“The victory of July 15 is a light of hope for a more free, civil and democratic Turkey for future generations,” he said.
The fight against FETÖ is still not completed, Erdoğan told a group of journalists on July 14. “It is like metastatic cancer. It needs to be completely purged,” daily Hürriyet quoted Erdoğan as saying.
“Some circles” are backing FETÖ, but Turkey will not stop fighting against it, the president underlined. “We want [FETÖ members] from every country. Especially the U.S. They do not want to understand us. They are still not comprehending this or using it as a tool. Whether they use [FETÖ] or not, we will continue this fight until our last breath,” Erdoğan stressed.
Erdoğan also underlined that contacts between the U.S. and Turkey regarding the extradition of Gülen have just started to accelerate, referring to Gül’s meeting with his U.S. counterpart in Washington.