By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - The Turkish embassy in Washington on Saturday marked the third anniversary of the July 15, 2016 deadly coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
The event started with a minute of silence observed in the honor of the victims of July 15 defeated coup, followed by singing of the Turkish national anthem.
In his address at the hall of the diplomatic building, Turkey's Ambassador to the U.S. Serdar Kilic described the coup night as "one of the darkest days" in the country's history.
"We passed through dark days before but none of them saw members of Turkish army shoot their own nationals with the weapons purchased by Turkish citizens or bomb parliament of Republic of Turkey," he said.
Orchestrated by FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen, the defeated coup left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey says the terror group has also been behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
The ambassador also lashed out at U.S. authorities for their inaction in the wake of the three-year coup attempt.
"Well, what are you doing about this organization that attacked Turkish Republic and democracy? Is not Turkey right until the end if it asks whether it is an alliance or not?" Kilic asked.
Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999.
Ankara has been demanding Gulen be extradited to be held accountable for his role in the defeated coup, sending hundreds of folders of evidence incriminating him and his organization.
Washington has been reluctant to extradite Gulen, saying there was insufficient evidence, sparking tension in relations already fragile since 2016.
Anadolu Agency's photos depicting the July 15 defeated coup were also exhibited at the event.