Turkey marks coup attempt anniversary

Turkish ​President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an interview to BBC

Turkish ​President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an interview to BBC

The decree was reportedly authorized on June 5, but did not become public until Friday.

Turkish soldiers attempted to overthrow the government and Erdogan using tanks, warplanes and helicopters on July 15 a year ago. Recent arrests have targeted police, military personnel, court officials, teachers, and journalists.

Although activists and Western governments have criticized the crackdown, the government insists it is necessary to tackle the threat they say is posed by the Gulen movement. Meanwhile, many members of the global community argue that the dismissals and arrests are a way for Erdogan to silence political dissidents.

On Friday, a further 7,000 police staff, civil servants and academics were suspended. "It was nothing less than an attempt at occupation", she said, slamming the move, spearheaded by the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (Feto).

After dialling a number, instead of hearing a dialtone users heard a voice message from Erdogan congratulating them on the national holiday of "democracy and unity" that marks the coup's defeat.

"Turkey's fight against terrorism is vital to the security of Europe".

Mr Gulen, who remains in the United States, denies any involvement.

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Exactly one year ago coup plotters nearly overthrew the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey also extended the detention of Amnesty International's local Director Idil Eser and nine others.

The events dedicated to the anniversary of the military coup attempt are being held in 81 Turkish provinces July 11-16.

A year later, thousands marched to the "July 15 Martyrs Bridge" on the Bosphorus in Istanbul with Turkish flags raised high.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg paid homage to those who lost lives resisting the coup and said attempts to undermine democracy in any one of the allied nations is "unacceptable". "Their faith", Erdogan said.

During the ceremony in parliament, the head of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) slammed what he called the erosion of democracy following the coup. But, on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Istanbul for the largest anti-government protest since 2013. Beyond the groundswell of nationalism, the coup's greatest legacy has been the far-reaching purge on multiple sectors of Turkish society.

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu will also deliver a speech at midnight on Saturday, a spokesman was quoted as saying by private broadcaster NTV.

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