UPDATES WITH MORE QUOTES FROM ERDOGAN
By Nilay Kar Onum
ISTANBUL (AA) – The Turkish nation has closed the chapter of coups, never to be reopened again, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on the second anniversary of the coup attempt on Sunday.
Addressing a public rally held at July 15 Martyrs Bridge in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “Today, we feel deep sorrow and immense pride in our hearts at the same time.”
Praising the Turkish nation’s courage and resistance that night, he said: “This victory is a result of the courage of our martyrs and veterans, who challenged tanks and planes.”
Erdogan called the July 15 coup attempt as “a revival of Turkish nation” and a “big democracy struggle.”
“July 15 will never be forgotten, ” he said. “We will never forget those who prayed for us and those who helped FETO [Fetullah Terrorist Organization].”
Erdogan likened FETO terror group to an “octopus “.
Referring to the nationwide fight against the group, he said: “We have cut the octopus’ tentacles.”
“In the last two years, we’ve crumpled all the structures of the organization in the state, business community, bureaucracy, trade, media and civil society on a large scale.”
“Murderers who shot our countrymen that night are getting the heaviest punishments, ” the president noted, vowing to carry out their determined fight against the terror group.
A museum to pay respects to the martyrs is being built near July 15 Martyrs Bridge, Erdogan announced.
Meanwhile, Anadolu Agency aired live images from a FETO camp in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.