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Turkey: Erdogan Vows Bloody Vengeance against Coup Plotters
Local Editor

Erdogan's speech on the anniversary of Turkey's failed military coup was attended by tens of thousands of Turks, shaping what happened in the country a year earlier which had widespread repercussions beyond the borders.

Turkey: Erdogan Vows Bloody Vengeance against Coup Plotters

Meanwhile, Turkey has been divided since the failed putsch, blamed on followers of the exiled US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, with 50,000 people now in prison, 150,000 driven from their jobs and others who've fled into exile.

The week preceding the anniversary had seen a fresh wave of sackings, detentions and issuing of arrest warrants.

There have been no offerings of reconciliation from President Erdogan and his ministers. In the days leading to the anniversary the government's rhetoric became increasingly strident and aggressive, vowing to hunt down fugitives supposedly behind the coup, accusing the main opposition party of colluding with terrorists, and lashing out at the West for its criticism of the continuing purge.

That mood was reflected outside the parliament building in the capital. The name of each of the dead was read out with the crowd roaring back "here" to show their spirit lives on. This was followed by the call for vengeance: "there must be payment; we demand executions".

Later on, the crowd heard that the Erdogan made promises of tough measures earlier in the evening in Istanbul and he brought these with him on his helicopter flight to the capital.

He reiterated his support for the death penalty and warned that the enemy may try to strike again and thus must be eliminated. "The 15 July coup attempt was not the first attack against our country and it won't be the last. For that reason, we'll first rip the heads off these traitors. We will cut their heads off," Erdogan declared.

He further stated that he wanted prisoners charged with coup offences to be dressed in uniforms "like in Guantanamo". This contradicted his statement in which he raised clothing as an example of how much better off inmates were in Turkey compared to the West.

"We allow our prisoners dignity. You see prisoners in US and Europe and they are taken to court in prison uniform," he said earlier. "Here they wear their own clothes, what they choose, they turn up in suits."

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

17-07-2017 | 11:55


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