Turks in Germany, France commemorate July 15


Thousands of people gathered in front of the Turkish consulate in Hamburg to commemorate the July 15 failed coup attempt on Saturday, following the cancellation of a democracy watch meeting that was expected to draw in 2,500 people. Meanwhile, a Turkish citizen organized another democracy watch meeting in the town of Molsheim in eastern France.

In addition to commemoration events and celebrations across Turkey, Turks in Hamburg gathered in front of the Turkish Consulate while Turkish nationals in France gathered in Molsheim, praying for those who were killed on the night of the coup attempt while voicing condemnation for the coup plotters.

Gathering around the consulate and 10:00 p.m., Turks in Hamburg participated in the event until midnight, reciting prayers, the national anthem and songs. They also conveyed messages to German politicians for failing to condemn the coup in a timely manner, condemning those who tried to prevent events held to commemorate July 15.

The head of the Union of Turkish Democrats in Europe, Mustafa Bahtiyar, said during a speech to the public that the coup plotters who pointed the nation's guns on innocent civilians had not reached their aim.

"Our nation gave the same message to these traitors on July 15 that it gave in the Battle of Dardanelles," Bahtiyar asserted.Meanwhile, Tahsin Kara, who has lived in France for 45 years, organized a democracy watch in the town of Molsheim in eastern France, in honor of the first anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt.

With the participation of approximately 1,000 Turks, the democracy watch which began on Saturday with the evening adhan (call to prayer) continued till the morning adhan on Sunday. During the watch, people stood together in homage, the Turkish national anthem was sung and the Quran was read in memory of the martyrs. Turks also watched the events in Istanbul and Ankara from a big screen in the square.Speaking to reporters, Kara said that the participants felt as if they were in Turkey during the watch.

"I feel like we are one with the people of Turkey. I have never seen such national unity as I have seen in the Turkish nation," he said.

Messages for coup anniversary sent worldwide

Some countries issued statements in honor of the anniversary of the foiled coup, while others sent messages of hope.

The U.S. State Department hailed the "bravery of Turkish people" who took to the streets to protect democracy. In a statement issued Friday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated U.S. support for democracy in Turkey, commending the Turkish people for their determination."One year ago, Turkey's brave and dedicated citizens of all backgrounds and political views defended their democracy against an attempted coup," Nauert said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that any attempt to undermine democracy in any NATO country is "unacceptable."

Jens Stoltenberg on Saturday also paid homage to about 250 people who lost their lives resisting the failed coup attempt. He praised the Turkish people who took to the streets and "stood up against this heinous act in defense of the country's elected government and democratic institutions."

"[I] still remember the shock I felt seeing the damage inflicted on the Parliament building from the bombardments of coup plotters," Stoltenberg said.

The Pakistan Defense, an online forum for the Pakistani Armed Forces, has also shown solidarity with the Turkish people.In a post shared on Saturday on the forum's official Twitter account, Pakistan Defense said that "Türkiye'nin düşmanları da Pakistan'ın düşmanıdır," translated as "Turkey's enemies are Pakistan's enemies as well."

The tweet was accompanied by a "#15Temmuz" hashtag in Turkish, which translates to July 15, the day the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) tried to overthrow the Turkish government, and a photo of two patches representing Turkey and Pakistan, which were attached to a military uniform.

Leading Muslim scholars on Saturday also condemned FETÖ and its activities around the world to mark the first anniversary of the defeated coup attempt.

"July 15 is a milestone not only for Turkey but also for the entire Muslim world. This tragic event set an example of how determined efforts and resolutions overcome attempts to annihilate social peace and democracy," the Istanbul-based International Muslim Scholars' Association said in a statement.

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