Authorities declare July 15 an annual holiday of ‘democracy and unity’
ANKARA — Turkey on Saturday marked one year since the defeat of the failed coup bid with mass nationwide rallies seeking to showcase national unity and a stern warning by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “chop off the heads” of traitors.
The authorities declared July 15 an annual national holiday of “democracy and unity”, billing the foiling of the putsch as a historic victory of Turkish democracy.
In an intense program aiming to hammer home the anniversary’s importance, Erdogan attended a special session of parliament in Ankara, spoke to a mass rally in Istanbul and then flew back to the capital for a rally outside parliament and a special event at the presidential palace in the early hours of the morning.
Speaking to hundreds of thousands by the bridge across the Bosphorus in Istanbul that was a fighting flashpoint, Erdogan warned Turkey could reintroduce capital punishment.
“If it comes to me after parliament, I will sign it,” the president told the rally on the Bosphorus Bridge, renamed July 15 Martyrs Bridge in the