Turkey commemorated Monday the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, allegedly orchestrated by the US-based self-exiled Turkish Imam Fethullah Gulen.
Erdogan, along with relatives of martyrs and veterans, went to the Bestepe Millet mosque for prayer services for the martyrs. Bakir Izzetbegovic, the former Bosniak member of Bosnia's three-member Presidential Council, also accompanied Erdogan in the commemoration ceremonies.
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.
According to Mustafa Akyol, a
"The very fact that Gulen is based in the United States made many Turks assume that the Gulenists could not have launched a coup on their own. This deep distrust, amplified by Washington's support for Kurdistan Workers Party-affiliated Kurdish militia in Syria, boosted anti-Americanism in Turkey," Akyol says adding: That should make it easy to understand why Turkey has bought and deployed S-400 missiles from Russia, despite all the objections from Washington. Turkey received first shipment of the S-400 missiles three days before the abortive coup anniversary.
EU expresses solidarity with Turkey over the abortive coup
The EU on Monday expressed solidarity with the Turkish people as the nation marked third anniversary of the failed coup attempt.
"Our solidarity with the Turkish people is not into question at all," the EU's High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini said in Brussels.
Addressing a meeting of foreign minister's council, Mogherini said the EU members do remember the day and night of July 15 very well.
"Today is the third anniversary of the attempted coup and I think that we all remember that day and that night very well," she added.
557 suspects nabbed at border since defeated coup
Since the defeated July 15 coup, Turkey has captured 557 suspects linked to Fetullah Gulen group in the country's northwest as they were planning to cross to Greece.
According to data analyzed by Anadolu Agency, Turkish soldiers stationed along the Turkish side of the Greek and Bulgarian borders prevented the suspects from escaping to Europe.
The suspects placed under travel bans are ex-soldiers, academicians, teachers, police officers, and judges.
Many Gulen supporters members who were trying to escape by infiltrating among irregular migrants and cooperating with terrorist organizations such as PKK and MLKP were caught before they could escape to Europe, Yeni Safak newspaper reported.