Turkey to start week-long commemorations of July 2016 coup attempt
Turkey is set to mark the first anniversary of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt with a week of commemoration events that will include a day-long “democracy watch” with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The government has prepared a commemoration program to mark the first anniversary of the military coup attempt, including exhibitions, cemetery visits, and special events at the specific locations that marked the night of the coup attempt.
“This nation will be on streets on that night and will go to the symbolic places of the resistance, because it was this public that gave that fight on the night. This nation will commemorate the night they resisted at the locations where they waged this fight,” ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Mahir Ünal stated on July 8.
“This nation will symbolically hold a democracy watch, just as they did for 29 days after the coup attempt,” Unal said.
According to the plan published by the government, the week starting on July 11 will open with a visit from President Erdoğan to the graves of those killed on the night, in particular Sergeant Ömer Halisdemir and Erdoğan’s public advisor Erol Olçok. Parliamentary Speaker İsmail Kahraman, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will also attend the visit.
On the same day, Erdoğan will address the public from the Ankara’s Special Operations Department Headquarters, the Kazan Airport Base Command, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Building at Saraçhane and the Mediterranean resort of Marmaris. The locations have been chosen as key sites where events on the night took place.
On July 12 exhibitions and social media events will take place in 30 different provinces and at parliament.
On July 13, business circles will mark the anniversary with a joint press conference.
On July 14, all mosques in all 81 provinces across Turkey will mark the anniversary with special public praying, as the day corresponds to Friday, the holiest day of the week according to Islam.
Parliament to convene on coup, President attends ‘democracy watch’
Events scheduled for the night of the coup attempt will aim to reanimate the events that took place on the night. Accordingly, parliament will convene in a special session on the day of the coup, July 15, with President Erdoğan giving an address at parliament before flying to Istanbul to take part in the “democracy watch.”
There will also be a “national unity march” over the Bosporus Bridge, the name of which has officially been changed to the “July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge,” following events that took place on the night that left many people dead and many injured.
Erdoğan will also give a speech at the bridge, while a monument marking the night of the coup attempt will be unveiled.