By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Citizens of western Balkan nations, together with Turkish residents, observed Democracy and National Unity Day on Monday, to commemorate those martyred in the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey.
In the Serbian capital of Belgrade, a bicycle race was organized on Sunday to recall the honor and bravery displayed by the Turkish people to protect democracy.
Serbia's Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, representing Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, participated in the event, among others.
The Turkish mission had arranged the "Salcano Turkey-Serbia Friendship Bicycle Race" in cooperation with the Bicycle Association of Serbia.
Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic and State Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Predrag Perunicic were among those who attended the event.
Meanwhile, an event "Run for Democracy" was also organized in Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital of Sarajevo. More than 500 people participated in 3.5-kilometer (2.2 miles) footrace.
On Monday, a panel discussion was held in Novi Pazar City of southwestern Serbia, where the public was informed about the events of July 15, 2016.
After the event, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), opened a library entitled "July 15" in the city, which is the cultural center of the Bosniaks in Serbia and the historical region of Sandzak.
Among other events, conferences were held in the region to inform public about the failed coup attempt.
Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were among the first countries expressing solidarity with Turkey against the July 15 coup attempt.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is attending an event organized by the International Balkan University in North Macedonia's capital Skopje.
Turkey marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day. The day is commemorated with events, honoring those who lost their lives beating back the putschists and in remembrance of the bravery of the nation.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the legitimate state apparatus, through infiltrations into Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.