Turkey marks the first anniversary of the failed military coup that was orchestrated in the last year on 15 July. On July 15, 2016, a group of Turkish military planned to oust the AKP government.
Turkey has declared a national holiday on 15 July to commemorate the day. Mr. Erdogan is supposed to deliver a speech in a large rally on the bridge across the Bosphorus where people, on the coup night, confronted the soldiers and defended Turkish democracy. Mr. Erdogan will unveil a “martyrs’ memorial” there.
They planned to seize the power from President Erdogan, but the attempt was thwarted. When President Erdogan called on the people of Turkey to take to the street through a Face Time video message, thousands of people took to the street and foiled the coup overnight. Mr. Erdogan was saved by dint of a mobile Face Time apps and free media (CNN Turks) which he apparently seems to dislike.
This coup, however, left at least 269 people dead and thousands more wounded. Common Turks sacrificed their lives responding to the call of their president to protect democracy which came to be an extraordinary event in the history of the recent world.
The attempted coup boosted Erdogan’s popularity overnight. Meanwhile Fethullah Gulen fell into a tough situation. Mr. Gulen, once who was an ally of President Erdogan had been accused of masterminding the coup plot. After the failed coup, Gulen’s movement came to be known as “FETO” and an all out crackdown on the people and organizations affiliated to Mr. Gulen changed the political maps of Turkey.
The attempted coup, orchestrated to end the rule of Erdogan, became the greatest opportunity for the President to grip even more power. He ordered an unprecedented purge all over the country and declared a state of emergency that has been continuing since the failed coup. Mr. Erdogan later cemented his power thorough a referendum that turned Turkey into a presidential system and granted him power apparently until 2029.
Turkish government arrested more than 50,000 people, sacked more than 150,000 government officers and has been accused of galvanizing the opposition in the name purging the coup supporters in the aftermath of the failed coup. Recently, opposition leader Mr. Kemal Kilicdaroglu arranged a justice march against the government to protest the ‘government injustice’ that gathered thousands of people. They plan to arrange even bigger protests in the coming days. President Erdogan, however, accuses them of supporting terrorism.
Leaders’ comments on Turkish coup anniversary
President Erdogan said on Thursday, “From now on, nothing will be as it was before July 15, States and nations have critical turning points in their histories that shape their future. July 15 is such a date for the Republic of Turkey.”
NATO secretary Jens Stoltenberg said, “On the first anniversary of the coup attempt in Turkey I reiterate my strong message that any attempt to undermine democracy in any of our Allied countries is unacceptable. Immediately after the coup attempt I strongly condemned it and expressed NATO’s solidarity with our valued ally Turkey.”
US Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, “We reaffirm the United States’ steadfast support for Turkey’s democracy and democratic institutions. We offer our condolences to the friends and loved ones of those injured or killed during the coup attempt. Today, the United States commends the bravery of all of those who have taken to the streets to preserve the rights and freedoms of their democratic society.”