By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - On the fateful night of July 15, 2016, deputies in Turkey’s parliament put their lives on the line to defend the nation’s sovereignty in the face of an attempted coup, a senior lawmaker of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party said Sunday.
"Our lawmaker colleagues from parliamentary parties risked death without batting an eyelid for the sovereignty of our nation on the night of the defeated coup attempt," Ramazan Can, a lawmaker for the Kirikkale province, told Anadolu Agency.
Deputies in the general assembly that night took a firm stand against the coup attempt by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), Can recalled.
"The bombs that exploded over parliament, the people who were wounded that night, and the news of the people martyred did not dim our lawmakers' resolve against the coup attempt," he said.
"The opening of parliament that night encouraged everyone who believes in Turkey's democracy and sovereignty. As a result of our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's leadership and the determined attitude of our parliamentary deputies, our people filled the squares of the nation in droves."
Some sections of the Turkish parliament building were bombed during the course of the coup attempt.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which martyred 251 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
Since the coup attempt, Turkey has unsuccessfully pressed the U.S. to extradite Gulen, who lives in the state of Pennsylvania, supplying it with copious evidence of Gulen's role in directing the defeated putsch. Turkish leaders have complained that by now Gulen should have long since been extradited.
Can also criticized U.S. support for FETO and its leader, saying: "The U.S. has provided clear financial and logistical support for this terrorist organization, and it tried to occupy our country through means of FETO, which it has fed in their own arms before."
"Otherwise, such an organization like FETO would not have been able to attempt to carry out such a coup plot," he said.
"If the coup plotters had succeeded, we would not have woken up to the Republic of Turkey the following morning. We would have woken up to a country that had been occupied.”