Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Turkey Marks 2nd Anniversary of Thwarting Violent Coup

Turkey Marks 2nd Anniversary of  Thwarting Violent Coup

ISTANBUL — With prayers and other events, Turkey on Sunday commemorated the second anniversary of thwarting a coup against the Turkish president and the government that left nearly 290 people dead and hundreds wounded.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top officials attended a Quran recitation in Ankara, kicking off a series of events.
On July 15, 2016, factions within the military used tanks, warplanes and helicopters in an attempt to overthrow Erdogan. Clashes took place in Istanbul, Ankara and Marmaris, where Erdogan was on holiday and reportedly barely escaped capture. Fighter jets bombed parliament and other spots in Turkey’s capital.
Turkey has blamed U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen for being behind the coup attempt, but he rejects the accusation. He was once a close ally to Erdogan, but his network was declared a terror organization after the two had a falling out in 2013.
Ali Erbas, the head of religious affairs, prayed Sunday for the 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 wounded in the coup attempt, saying they stood against “traitors who are the pawns of foreign powers.” Erdogan recited verses in Arabic.
At a luncheon for the families of coup victims and the wounded, Erdogan promised they would never be forgotten. He said Turkish children must be educated about this key date in their nation’s history to prevent other coups.
“Each child who does not know their religion, nation, language, homeland or state is the potential target of terror organization,” Erdogan said.
At least 35 alleged coup plotters were also killed.
Since the failed coup, over 75,000 people have been arrested and 130,000 civil servants have been dismissed from their jobs for alleged coup ties. Among them are judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, teachers and academics. Many have protested their innocence.
Critics say the government purge has been arbitrary and used to crackdown on all dissent. Lawmakers, journalists and political activists are among those behind bars. (AP)