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.
Erdoğan then attended the 15 July special session held in parliament, which brought lawmakers together for the commemoration of the coup attempt.
In Istanbul, an Islamic memorial service was delivered at the Great Mosque of Çamlıca for those died in the coup attempt.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen are blamed for the defeated coup, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
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.
“July 15 is a blessed day, when our mighty nation put an end to the history of coups,” Erdoğan said in an article penned for daily Hürriyet.
The president also stressed the resistance the Turkish public had shown during the night of the coup attempt is a one-of-a-kind event.
“July 15 is a unique date when the people prevented a military coup,” he said in the article published on July 15.
The defeat of the coup attempt is a victory towards those attempting to become tyrants in the military, politics and economy, according to Erdoğan.
“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.