By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) – With Turkey marking the fourth anniversary of defeated 2016 coup on Wednesday, the nation’s leader acclaimed “the heroes emerging across the country on the night of coup bid” to defend the nation.
"Sometimes, a single hero changes the fate of the whole nation. On July 15, millions of heroes emerged from all corners of our country and left a mark on the nation’s future," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a ceremony at parliamentary complex.
Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Fighter jets under control of coup plotters bombed parliament in the early hours of July 16.
Erdogan said that parliament’s coming under the attack of putchists was “not a random choice.”
"If they had been strong enough, you can be sure that they would not have hesitated to completely demolish parliament," Erdogan said.
He added: "If they had been strong enough, you can be sure that they would not have hesitated to kill notably the country's president and prime minister and all other elected executives."
The Turkish leader called on all lawmakers to jointly build Turkey's 2023 targets.
"As long as we say 'first comes Turkey,' we accept all different opinions, discussions and debates under the roof of this parliament, they are even a source of diversity for us," Erdogan said.
Also addressing the ceremony was Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop.
"The main cause of July 15 treacherous coup bid is Turkey’s starting to emerge as a power … objecting injustices of current global system,” Sentop said.
He said that they were not observing "a ceremony of mourning," but an event “to declare determination which defeated the July 15 betrayal."
Turkey marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day with events nationwide to commemorate those who lost their lives beating back the putschists and to remember the bravery of the nation.
A number of structures and public spaces were renamed in the immediate aftermath of the coup bid, most notably Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge becoming the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge.
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.