Parliament holds special intra-party session on July 15 coup attempt


Lawmakers from all political parties attended a special session held by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) to commemorate the July 15 failed coup attempt on the anniversary of the putsch bid.

Parliamentary speaker İsmail Kahraman gave the opening speech, highlighting Turkey's determination to protect democracy by coming together amid threats to its unity.

Addressing Parliament, Kahraman recalled the night of the defeated coup on July 15 when the Parliament building was also bombed.

The speaker said he immediately convened the General Assembly in Parliament despite the bombing by members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

Regarding lawmakers who attended the historic session on the night of the coup bid, he said, "All of us, the entire Parliament were [July 15, 2016] Sütçü Imam and Nene Hatun."

Sütçü Imam and Nene Hatun are well-known heroes of modern Turkey's history. Kahraman said Turkey would never allow itself to become polarized.

"We are Turkey; we cannot be divided; we cannot let Turkey be separated; we will proceed on our path with all our power," he said.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also addressed deputies at the General Assembly, saying the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had become more powerful since last summer's coup attempt.

More than 7,000 military personnel have been dismissed from the TSK since the defeated coup for suspected links to FETÖ.

"The Turkish army is more powerful today in comparison to the period before July 15. The TSK is the army of a glorious nation," Yıldırım said. "July 15 is a day on which faithful, crazy Turks crushed the tanks. July 15 is a day in which the nation foiled putschists' plots to kill with their bare hands against the occupation. July 15 is a day on which a lesson was taught to the entire world on how a nation should be, and how it should protect and defend its own lands."

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) attended the session.

Opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that the Turkish people protected democracy against the FETÖ threat, calling it "one of the bloodiest and most insidious" organizations.

"There are two conditions to adhere to in order to prevent coups in the future. Developing and consolidating democracy. I expressed this during the General Assembly of TBMM in July 16, 2016. It is necessary to thoroughly discuss all aspects of the coup attempt in order to discover the truth," Kılıçdaroğlo said.

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the opposition MHP, criticized the CHP leader during his speech due to the controversial "controlled coup" discourse used to describe the July 15 attempt.

"Defining the July 15 attempt as a 'controlled coup,' means denial of the human mind. Our Parliament was bombed and a shooting spree took place," he said.

He also called for a national consensus to be reached against FETÖ.

Speaking on behalf of opposition HDP, Ahmet Yıldırım, group deputy chairman of the party, made a call for the release of its detained deputies, who were arrested on several charges including crimes related to terrorism.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also attended the session and is expected to address Parliament at 2:32 a.m., the exact moment when Parliament was bombed on the night of the coup attempt.

Also, 249 flags from 81 provinces that represent the 249 people who died in the July 15 coup attempt were brought and presented to President Erdoğan.

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