Erdogan: Last Year’s Coup Plotters Should Be Beheaded
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says those behind last year’s failed coup in Turkey are “traitors” who should be beheaded.
Erdogan spoke as Turkey celebrated the anniversary with a national holiday, unveiling a “Martyrs Memorial” on the iconic Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul to commemorate the estimated 250 people who died in clashes opposing the coup. The bridge, renamed Saturday as Martyrs Bridge, was the scene of clashes between civilians and military tanks.
In a speech later in the day, Erdogan said the perpetrators of the coup should be killed or imprisoned in a facility like the United States’ Guantanamo Bay prison. He said if Turkey’s parliament passed a law authorizing the death penalty for those instigators, he would sign it.
“They showed no mercy when they pointed their guns at my people,” Erdogan said, referring to the coup leaders. “What did my people have? They had their flags — just as they do today — and something much more important: They had their faith.”
Saturday’s marchers waved hundreds of red Turkish flags emblazoned with the star and crescent. Thousands marched through the streets of Istanbul in an act of unity, converging at the bridge where Turkish citizens clashed with tanks and members of the military who were trying to assume control. Some of the marchers carried photographs of those who died in the fighting, which included a bomb attack on parliament.
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