Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attended on Sunday (July 16) the opening ceremony of a memorial statue which was built to commemorate the victims of the coup attempt of 2016. Pascale Davies reports.
Memorial events continuing through to Sunday in Turkey. President Tayyip Erdogan unveiling a statue to commemorate the victims of last year's aborted coup, in which nearly 250 people died. The Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul was the scene of clashes between civilians and rogue soldiers in tanks. Thousands of people heeded a call by the president to flood the streets and resist the coup. The bridge subsequently renamed the 15 July Martyrs' Bridge. Patriotic marches continued through to the the capital Ankara, where a year ago parliament was bombed. Along with a groundswell of nationalism, the coup's greatest legacy has been a far-reaching crackdown. President Erdogan vowed to take revenge on those accused of orchestrating the putsch (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT TAYYIP ERDOGAN SAYING: "When it death penalty passes through parliament and comes in front of me, I will sign it without any hesitation. Because there is the grief of 250 martyrs, the grief of our nation, the grief of 2193 people who got wounded. The Turkish authorities accuse a movement loyal to the US based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, of organising the plot. He however, denies any involvement. Deepening divisions in Turkey also a legacy of the coup - last week hundreds of thousands of people marched to Istanbul in a massive show of anti-government sentiment. Since declaring a state of emergency, the government has been able to dismiss more than 150,000 state employees and arrest 50,000 people. Erdogan's critics say he is using the state of emergency to target those who oppose him. The President says he will advise the government to extend the emergency law on Monday.