On Saturday (July 15), Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a speech before a large crowd gathered at the Bosporus Bridge in İstanbul to mark the first anniversary of the failed putsch.
Praising on the ‘heroic acts’ of the people who had come out to the streets on the night of the attempt on 15 July 2016, Erdoğan said: “That night, I had also headed towards here (İstanbul) with my energy minister and with my wife. We had found out that the traitor gang of FETÖ was behind it (the coup plot). Our nation had immediately stepped up. And, with the calls made by my prime minister and by myself, millions of our citizend had filled up the streets, squares, and in front of barracks against the coup plotter… 36 of our citizens got martyred by the tanks that had blocked this bridge… Just as it is the case today, my citizens had on their hands just the flag (of Turkey). And, they had even more effective weapon next to that. And, that weapons was their faith! On one side, there were my faithful people, on the other side, there were the unfaithful plotters… This is the difference between people who gather randomly and those who have a common past. The former takes the risk of sacrificing their lives when necessary. That night, we saved the future of 50 million people of Turkey. We cannot checkmate without crushing the pawns. So, we are first going to behead those traitors.”