Turkey Commemorates Failed Coup

Vincent Carr
July 16, 2017

Fethullah Gulen, the US -based preacher, is accused by Ankara of orchestrating the coup.

"Given the current outlook, we still need state of emergency", Erdogan said on Friday, as he addressed a human rights seminar before the anniversary of the failed coup.

"It has been exactly one year since Turkey's darkest and longest night was transformed into a bright day, since an enemy occupation turned into the people's legend", he said.

Heeding a call by the president and ignoring a curfew announced by the coup plotters, thousands of people went out on the streets to resist the coup.

Speaking about the ongoing crisis involving Qatar and four Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain, Erdogan said that Turkey was not part of the rift and that the country wanted to promote "dialogue and peace" in the Gulf region, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

Some 250 people died and 2,196 were wounded fighting the coup attempt by an army faction on 15 July past year.

Flag-waving crowds gathered at the foot of the Bosphorus Bridge - now renamed Martyr's Bridge - the location where crowds confronted soldiers and tanks.

Turkey is holding a series of events to mark the first anniversary of last year's failed coup.

President Erdogan's government dismissed teachers, academics, military and police officers for alleged links to terror groups, bringing the total number of coup-related dismissals to 110,000.

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The coup bid also frayed ties between the United States and European Union with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey, which accused its allies of failing to show solidarity.

Ankara accuses USA -based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the putsch and has been pushing for his extradition, an episode that has contributed to strained ties between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

The Turkish government announced Fethullah Gulen - a Muslim cleric in self-exile in the USA, was behind the coup soon after it took place.

Gulen has denied any connection to the coup attempt.

Some 250 lights were set around the rally area to commemorate 250 people killed during the coup bid, the Hurriyet daily said.

"It isn't just important for Turkey but for democracy everywhere", Erdo─čan said.

Ankara has declared July 15 as an annual national holiday of "democracy and unity", billing it as a "historic victory for Turkish democracy".

In the 12 months since then, a state of emergency had been in place across the country.

As in the night of the coup attempt, mosques across Turkey will simultaneously recite a verse, usually read before Friday prayers, to alert and invite Muslims to the streets.

Other reports by BadHub

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