Ankara (July 16, 2017): Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that over 250 people laid down their lives but the country won its future and added that the masses of Turkey defeated terrorists on the streets of Istanbul and Ankara on July 15, last year.
He expressed these views while addressing to hundreds of thousands of people who had converged at the entrance to the iconic July 15 Martyrs Bridge in Istanbul to mark the first anniversary of the attempted power grab. A sea of marchers flocked to the Bosphorus Bridge where 36 people were killed by coup soldiers exactly a year ago.
Erdogan said: “People that night did not have guns, they had a flag and more importantly, they had their faith.” He said: “I am grateful to all members of my nation who defended their country.” 250 people had lost their lives but the country had won its future, he added.
The Turkish president said, “Putschists who closed off the bridge on that night wanted to show the world that they were in control,” he said, but were countered by “millions who took to the streets that night to defend the honour of their nation”.
Erdogan said that he would “break the heads of the traitors” who plotted the coup. He continued that Turkey would “cut the heads off” traitors bent on destabilising the country, and brandished the coup plotters as “unbelievers”.
Erdogan also said he had spoken to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim about the coup plotters, saying: “When they appear in court, let’s make them appear in uniform suits like in Guantanamo.”
The president then unveiled a “martyrs’ memorial” at the bridge, which has been renamed the Bridge of the Martyrs of July 15. The date of 15 July has been declared an annual holiday.