TURKEY UNITES AS NATION AFTER FAILED COUP; PEOPLE, OPPN RALLY BEHIND GOVT; CRACK DOWN ON COUP SUPPORTERS

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Lawmakers of Turkish Parliament meet in an extraordinary session after the failed military coup of Friday, July 15. AA
Lawmakers of Turkish Parliament meet in an extraordinary session after the failed military coup of Friday, July 15. AA

Hale Turkes | Anadolu Agency

ANKARA — The Turkish parliament convened Saturday for an extraordinary session in the aftermath of the attempted Friday night coup.

“What is necessary will be done and [the perpetrators] will be punished in the heaviest manner,” Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman said in a speech opening the session.

He also expressed his belief that public order would be restored soon.

Kahraman said a joint declaration by all four parties in parliament – the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) – would be read out following the speeches of the chairmen.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim started his speech by remembering the martyrs who sacrificed their own lives in defense of the “nation’s independence and future” on Friday night.

He thanked the public for their support, having taken to the streets to protest the coup attempt. He also praised the deputies who went to parliament and stayed there amid all the bombing.

“They started to drop bombs on parliament. They fired. Yet you did not retreat,” he said, adding that the MPs thus demonstrated exemplary behavior to parliaments and democracies all around the world.

“As the public defended its independence on the streets, you, as the representatives of the nation, held on tightly to your independence, democracy, and national will in parliament.

“With this attitude, you have changed Turkey’s fortune, and demonstrated a solidarity, friendship, and cooperation that will be remembered for centuries to come. Thus, this Parliament deserves the greatest praise after our nation,” he said.

The premier also declared July 15 a “day of democracy.”

“Those who attempted this coup, and tried to overthrow the public, ended up being the target and were overthrown themselves.

“From now on July 15 is a day of guarding, and watching over democracy. It is the day of democracy,” he said, calling the involved members of the army “not soldiers, but terrorists and murderers disguised as soldiers.”

Main opposition CHP Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu denounced what he termed an “attack on democracy.”

“On behalf of my party, and all our supporters who voted for us, and the citizens of the Turkish Republic, I curse yesterday’s attack on democracy,” he said, further praising the public “who took to the streets and exercised their right to revolt against the [attempted] coup.”

Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli said what happened on Friday night was not just a coup attempt but “also a treacherous and bloody terrorist attack.”

“This attack was committed by a small group within the Turkish military, who was either beguiled or already thirsty for this. Democracy almost fell off a cliff,” he said.

On Friday night, renegade elements within Turkey’s military attempted to stage a coup against the government.

Although the coup was soon put down by the country’s legitimate authorities and security apparatus, roughly 160 people were martyred in the violence, according to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

People stand on a Turkish army tank at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/ALDEMIR
People stand on a Turkish army tank at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/ALDEMIR

Action Against Thousands of Judges, Military Personnel

Turkey’s top judicial board has suspended 2,745 judges, including 541 court of first instance judges and 2,204 judicial court judges, over Friday’s attempted coup.

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) also decided to terminate the membership of five of its members after the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office’s decision to detain them. Four have been remanded into custody.

Forty-eight members of the Council of State linked to the FETO/PDY terrorist organization were also remanded into custody, and out of 140 Court of Appeal members detained who were linked to the FETO/PDY, 11 were remanded Saturday.

Friday night saw military elements make a “vile” attempt to overthrow Turkey’s elected government, according to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. Around 160 people were martyred in the ensuing violence.

Some 2,839 military personnel involved in the coup attempt have been arrested, and 20 pro-coup soldiers, including some senior officers, were killed in Friday night’s attempt to overthrow the government.

turkey people protest coup aa

Massive Popular Protests Against Coup

Turkish people took the streets across Turkey to protest against an attempted military coup in Istanbul and Ankara.

Speaking via video chat feature from a cellphone, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “I am calling on our nation. Go to the squares, let us give them the best answer.”

Throngs gathered in public squares and streets to protest the military uprising in Ankara, Istanbul, Diyarbakir, Edirne, Denizli, Kayseri, Samsun, Hatay, Yalova, Manisa, Erzurum, Izmir, Zonguldak, Malatya, Eskisehir, Sanliurfa, Adana, Sakarya, Kirikkale, Nevsehir, Sivas and several other provinces.

People chanted slogans as “No coup” and “Soldier to soldier against terror”.

In Ankara, people gathered in Kizilay Square located in the city center and tried to stop tanks by throwing stones and sticks.

In the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, people gathered at the AK Party’s provincial office to show their support for the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In Kayseri, people gathered in front of the Kayseri Governor’s Office to show their response to the military uprising by waving Turkish flags.

People chanted slogans in Kayseri as “We are all soldiers, we are all police”.

Some streets were closed to the traffic and police took security measures in the province. Adhans, or Islamic calls to prayer, are recited in a lot of mosques in Istanbul, Ankara, and some other provinces.

Meanwhile, Turks in US will reportedly hold a protest in front of FETO/PDY terrorist group leader Fetullah Gulen’s mansion in Pennsylvania.

U.S. based Muslim groups will also support the protest, AA correspondent learns.

There were protests held in Washington DC and New York Times Square right after the failed coup attempt was taken under control.

Erdogan slammed Gulen, who is accused of leading a terrorist organization and attempting to infiltrate and overthrow the democratically-elected government.

“It is enough the betrayal you have done to this nation,” Erdogan said, without mentioning Gulen’s name, and calling on him to return to Turkey to face trial.

At least 90 people were martyred and more than 1,000 others injured during the coup attempt.

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