People across Turkey pour onto streets to commemorate nation's victory

Published 17.07.2017 00:00

Over the weekend, Turkish citizens poured into the streets for national unity marches across the country on the first anniversary of the foiled coup, which left 249 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

Thousands of people gathered outside Parliament in the early hours of Sunday, waving Turkish flags and holding up pictures of the 249 people who died confronting the coup plotters.

Waving large Turkish flags, large crowds from different parts of the city flocked to the Beştepe neighborhood for the unity march to Parliament. Many walked to the building clutching a large flag measuring 3 kilometers in length (1.86 miles).

Speaking outside the Parliament building in the early hours of Sunday at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the July 15 coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Turkish nation scored a victory on July 15 after disrupting the coup plotters' 40-year plan in less than 20 hours.

In the eastern Ağrı province, people gathered in the Abide Square chanting, "Stand shoulder to shoulder against tyrants."In the Üzümlü district of northeastern Erzincan province, a wrestling tournament was held with the participation of 90 athletes.

In eastern Iğdır province, a 30-meter-long Turkish flag was waved during a commemorating march.

The Turkish Mountaineering Federation in eastern Erzurum province organized a climbing event at the Palandöken Mountain to honor those killed. A total of 250 people climbed 3,200 meters in four hours.Another giant Turkish flag was raised in the eastern province of Malatya. Two flags, measuring 425 square meters each, were hung in a canyon in the city.

In western İzmir province, a public race was organized. People between the ages of nine and 60 years ran on a 2,000-meter race.

Almost 90,000 salahs were recited throughout the country in memory of those that died on July 15.

Traditionally, salah prayers are read to announce a funeral at a mosque.

People gathered in city centers and held marches in every city across Turkey including Van, Sinop, Tokat, Kastamonu and Amasya, decrying the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

Meanwhile, people making telephone calls to Turkish mobile phones Saturday night heard an unexpected voice on the line - President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Before the number would actually connect, callers were surprised by an audio recording of the president, to mark the first anniversary of the failed coup. After dialing a number, instead of hearing a dial tone, users heard a voice message from Erdoğan congratulating them for the national holiday of "democracy and unity" that marks the coup's defeat.

Only after Erdoğan's message did the dial tone begin. "As president, I send congratulations on this July 15 Day of Democracy and National Unity. I wish the martyrs mercy and the heroes [of the defeat of the coup] health and well being," the president said in the recorded message.

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