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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Erdogan declares July 15 as Martyr Remembrance Day to mark Turkey's failed coup

Police on patrol in Ankara (AP)
Police on patrol in Ankara (AP)
People walk in Kizilay Square in Ankara, Turkey (AP)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared July 15 a national holiday to commemorate the people who gave their lives during the failed coup attempt.

Mr Erdogan said the date would be celebrated every year as Martyr Remembrance Day.

He said: "From civilians to police to soldiers, future generations will never forget the heroes who fought for democracy on July 15."

The government says 246 pro-government people - forces and civilians - died while confronting the attempted military coup.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has warned of the possibility that not all of those responsible for the attempted coup were apprehended during the ensuing crackdown.

Mr Yildirim said there is "a remote chance some madmen might take action, acting out of a sense of revenge and defeat".

He also criticised the US for demanding evidence to extradite Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara claims is responsible for the coup.

He said: "Stop standing up for savages who run over citizens with tanks, who strafe people from land and the air."

Germany earlier called on Turkey to respect the rule of law after Ankara imposed a state of emergency following the failed coup.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said several people detained in the wake of the coup had been shown on camera and appeared to have been mistreated.

He told reporters in Berlin that it "raises troubling questions if accused people are seen on television or photos bearing clear traces of physical violence - if individual people are humiliated or denigrated in front of the camera".

Mr Seibert also said Germany hopes the state of emergency will be as short as possible and that it would have no impact on the deal between the European Union and Ankara to halt the flow of migrants crossing to Europe.

Parliament voted 346-115 to approve the national state of emergency, which gives sweeping new powers to Mr Erdogan.

He has said the state of emergency will counter threats to Turkish democracy, though critics are urging restraint because they fear the measure would violate basic freedoms.

Even without the emergency measures, Turkey has already imposed a crackdown that has included mass arrests, multiple sackings and the closure of hundreds of schools.

Mr Erdogan said the new powers would allow the government to rid the military of the "virus" of subversion.


Press Association

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