In two separate speeches in Istanbul and Ankara over the weekend, Turkey’s President promised to execute all the conspirators who took part in the failed July 15, 2016 coup.
A year after the foiled coup in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that he is ready to “chop off the heads” of the coup conspirators, AFP reports. In a speech he delivered to a crowd of millions in Istanbul on Saturday, the Turkish President affirmed of his willingness to reintroduce capital punishment, effectively ending Turkey’s status as a candidate for EU membership.
The former Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul has now been renamed “the Martyrs’ Bridge,” in reference to the 250 civilians killed during the coup attempt.
During the same speech, Erdogan denied opposition claims that the government had foreknowledge of the coup, calling them “shameless” and “immoral.” Erdoğan called the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) opposition party Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu a “coward” for not taking to the streets the night of the coup.
On Sunday, Erdoğan inaugurated a 31,4-meter monument in Ankara honouring the 250 people killed during the coup attempt. The monument covers 2,500 square meters in front of the Presidential palace.
Erdoğan address was accompanied by further references to killing and execution, with the Turkish President making a direct threat in no uncertain terms:
“Traitors who point a gun at our country, nation, freedom and future will never see the light of day again,” Hurriyet reports.
Over the weekend, the government continued its year-long lustration campaign of the Turkish public sector with a further 7,395 dismissals in the police, the ministry of justice, the foreign ministry, the education ministry, the health ministry, the Higher Education Board, Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, the interior ministry, and the army. All public officers are accused of links to the movement of the Philadelphia-based Sunni cleric, Fethullah Gulen, which is referred to by Turkish authorities as FETÖ (Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization).