Au­thor­i­ties de­clare July 15 an an­nual hol­i­day of ‘democ­racy and unity’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

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

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