News ID: 92475
Publish Date : 16 July 2021 - 21:34

ANKARA (AP) – Turkey marked the fifth anniversary of a failed military coup with a series of events Thursday commemorating the people who died trying to quash the uprising against the government.
The observances kicked off with visits to grave sites and memorials honoring the dead, where prayers were held. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan led a ceremony in parliament before attending other events, including opening a museum commemorating the crushing of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
On that night, factions within the military used tanks, warplanes and helicopters to try to overthrow Erdogan’s government. Heeding a call from the president, thousands took to the streets to oppose the takeover attempt.
A total of 251 people were killed and around 2,200 others were wounded as the coup-plotters fired at crowds and bombed parliament and other government buildings. Around 35 people who allegedly participated in the plot were also killed.
“We will never be able to repay the brave men who, through their sacrifices that dark night, brought a (bright) morning for our nation and democracy,” Erdogan said Thursday. “Through its resistance on July 15, our people not only averted a coup attempt but also prevented an attempted occupation (of) our country.”
Turkey has blamed U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally, for the attempted coup. Gulen rejects the accusation. The Turkish government designated his network a terrorist group.
Government officials insist that Gulen’s network remains a threat to Turkey. In a speech in parliament on Wednesday, Erdogan said his government was determined to go after the network “until the last member is neutralized.”
The government declared a state of emergency after the failed coup and launched a massive crackdown on Gulen’s network. Tens of thousands of people were arrested for alleged links to the coup and to Gulen. Some 4,900 people were sentenced to prison, including around 3,000 who were given life sentences, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

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