Erdoğan urges citizens to ‘fill up’ Turkey’s squares after failed coup attempt
REUTERS photoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 17 urged people to fill up city squares across the country, following the failed military coup attempt that began on the night of July 15.
“Especially this week is very important. In the same way, we will not leave the squares. You will fill up the squares. This is not a situation to let rest. This is not just a 12-hour operation. We will continue determinedly,” Erdoğan said, while addressing the crowd during a funeral ceremony of those who were killed in the incidents at Istanbul’s Fatih Mosque.
The president added that the coup attempt had failed thanks to the people who heeded his call to take to the streets across the country to thwart the plot by the representatives of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). Some 161 people were killed during the incidents, he added.
Erdoğan said the movement of those instructed by “superior minds” that cannot stand the unity and brotherhood of the nation to take over the state became a de facto armed attack on July 15.
As the crowd chanted “We want the death penalty,” referring to its restoration after 12 years, Erdoğan said the demands of the public in democracies could not be set aside, while noting that it would be evaluated by judicial authorities.
“I also expressed this yesterday: In democracies, the demand of the public cannot be set aside. This is your right. The evaluation of that demand will be made by the related authorities constitutionally and then a decision will be taken. We have always put emotions in the background so far. We have looked before we leapt when taking decisions and we will take this step in a very positive way,” Erdoğan said.
The president also said the representatives of FETÖ tried to make the country’s legislative, executive and judicial bodies to clash but failed.
He pledged that the purging period started with the latest detentions would continue in all state institutions, including the judiciary and military, saying that they had surrounded the state like “a cancer virus.”
Erdoğan said the country would demand the handover of representatives of the organization from the U.S. and other Western countries. He said he repeatedly warned all statesmen he met about the organization but they did not take it seriously.
The president also reminded that the country designated it a terror organization just like the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), saying it was not enough and vowing to bring those representatives back to the country.
Erdoğan said Turkey was neither a country that could be undersold by such uprisings nor a country that could be managed from Pennsylvania, referring to the residence of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Following the failed coup attempt on July 15, thousands of people again took to the streets late on July 16 across Turkey to condemn the coup attempt.
Protesters waved flags and chanted anti-coup slogans all night long in the central squares of Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir.
Turkish officials have repeatedly called on citizens to continue protesting the coup attempt in public squares.