No one can trivialize nation’s glorious struggle of July 15: Erdoğan
The first ceremony in the parliament was held at the July 15 Martyrs’ Monument, where the first bomb fell on the night of the coup attempt.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop left carnations on the glass dome of the monument.
“No one has the right to trivialize the glorious struggle of the nation on the night of July 15,” Erdoğan said, speaking at the ceremony at the Martyrs’ Monument.
“July 15 is the victory of the nation, of the national will, of those who set their heart on democracy. July 15 is the name of the right to triumph over falsehood, justice to oppression, independence to belittlement,” Erdoğan said.
The president emphasized that the Turkish nation both “repulsed a coup attempt and prevented an invasion attempt aimed at capturing the country” with its resistance on July 15, 2016.
“Young and old, this nation has once again shown the whole world that ‘Turkey is impassable,’” the president stated.
While the Turkish nation preserved its independence, deputies of the nation firmly defended democracy under the roof of the parliament, he said and thanked everyone who came to the parliament on the night of July 15 by overcoming the obstacles. “History will also write in gold letters this solidarity displayed under the roof of our veteran parliament,” Erdoğan noted.
“Although our political parties and opinions are different, we are all people of the same homeland. Although our origins are different, we are all owners of a shared past, a common future for thousands of years,” he said.
Turkey is the common homeland of all 84 million people, and the coronavirus pandemic has shown that the fate of all, as a nation, is the same, the president said.
“This pandemic has shown that we can only overcome the threats to our existence by uniting. We want to enter 2023 with the vision of the new Turkey, not with the habits and humps of the old Turkey. I think that every single member of the 84 million people shares the same belief as us,” he said.
The defeated coup in 2016 was a foreign-backed occupation attempt against Turkey, Şentop said. “July 15 is not a political discussion, but it is our nation’s struggle for existence and non-existence. This coup attempt is a foreign-supported occupation movement against Turkey,” Şentop said, speaking at the commemoration ceremony.
“Turkey is stronger, more independent today,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said during his visit to Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent. “Just one and a half months after the coup attempt, our armed forces carried out the Operation Euphrates Shield,” Çavuşoğlu noted. He recalled that the activities of FETÖ-linked schools in 42 countries were terminated.
‘July 15 Democracy Museum’ opened
The president also inaugurated the “July 15 Democracy Museum” built opposite the Presidential Complex in Beştepe. The museum consists of eight halls with each featuring a different theme such as “Coups in Turkey and the World,” “Threat of a bullet,” “Drop into the Darkness,” “The Longest Night,” “Traces,” “Sela,” “Respect to the Martyrs” and “Democracy Watches.”
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that it was their duty to reveal all the unknown of the July 15 coup attempt.
“It has been five years since the treacherous terrorist organization aimed at democracy and the nation. It is our obligation to our nation, who gathered the state from the streets that night, to reveal all the dark spots of July 15. We will never forget our 251 martyrs and those who turned a blind eye to FETÖ’s infiltration into the state,” he said in his Twitter post on the anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt.
On the night of July 15, a small military junta, accused of being members of the FETÖ, attempted to overthrow the elected government using heavy weaponry, including fighter jets, helicopters and tanks.
Thousands of citizens across the country went out on the streets in a bid to stop the coup plotters through the night when more than 250 people were killed, and more than 2,000 others were injured while resisting coup soldiers.
Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge was shut down by soldiers at around 10 p.m., parliament was under rocket attack and putschists had planned the assassination of Erdoğan, who at the time was in the Aegean province of Marmaris.
Jets flew by buildings in Istanbul and Ankara, and the state broadcaster TRT was taken hostage.