Sun Nov 19 2017, 11:36:13 +03

Turkish nation showed its biggest resistance to defend democracy: Erdogan says

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(Istanbul-AlummahWorld-Shawwal 22,1438H) TurkishPresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again praised the nation's perseverance, bravery and strength, and their will to defend democracy against the putschists.

He was speaking before tens of thousands of people at the iconic July 15 Martyrs' Bridge on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the failed military coup attempt in which 249 people died resisting.

Likening the defeat of last year's July 15 botched coup attempt to Turkey's independence war nearly a hundred years ago, Erdogan said that Turkey's citizens had saved Turkey's future.

"The pro-coup soldiers were defeated by the nation in Istanbul and Ankara before they even had the chance to take control of other cities in Turkey," the president said.

The Bosporus Bridge, now called the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge, was the scene of clashes between civilians and soldiers in tanks. Erdogan said that the bridge saw the bloodiest scene that night, and also witnessed the biggest resistance with 36 fatalities.

He warned that the coup attempt "was not the first and would not be the last" and warned the nation that terror groups would work to undermine the country.

Erdogan also said that the FETO suspects who are on trial for plotting last year's failed coup should be required to wear the same type of outfit in court to prevent prisoners from wearing provoking outfits.

"These are still their good days. I have spoken with our prime minister and said 'when they appear in court, they should wear one type of outfit, like in Guantanamo.'"

His comment came days after a former soldier who is on trial accused of trying to capture or assassinate Erdogan on the night of the coup, appeared in court wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word "hero," triggering a public outcry.

The Gulenist Terror Group (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 249 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.

FETO is accused of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.