An international symposium on Turkey's defeated coup attempt in July 2016 and coups across the world opened Thursday in the northwestern city of Kocaeli. Named after Kartepe, a popular ski resort where the event is being held, the symposium boasts a line-up of Turkish and foreign academics, journalists, analysts and activists among its participants.
The two-day event titled "July 15 and Coups D'etat: Global Effects, Media and Democracy" opened with speeches by Culture Minister Numan Kurtulmuş and presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın.
Kalın said at the summit that July 15, 2016 was "a night when a nation stood up," referring to strong public resistance that ultimately helped quell the putsch attempt.
"We have lessons to learn from the coup. If it wasn't for the confidence that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan instilled in the nation, people wouldn't have risked death by jumping in front of tanks on July 15. That night was the most solid example of unity of the state and the nation," he said.
The spokesman also criticized the West for adopting a stance that "would change based on the success of the coup attempt."
"Those who supported the coup in Egypt directly and indirectly would endorse the coup if it succeeded. The Western countries denounced democracy, not the coup plotters, after July 15. Turkey was subject to more criticism when it took action against coup plotters. When it imposed a state of emergency, they said it was 'against democracy.' I am speaking about a state of emergency after 250 people were killed," Kalın said.
Edin Music, chairman of Bosnia's House of Representatives, is also scheduled to speak at the event.
Media personalities will also attend the symposium, including reporter Hande Fırat, who is known internationally as the reporter who held a live FaceTime call with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the coup attempt last year.
Wadah Khanfar, the former CEO of Al-Jazeera, will also be speaking at the "July 15 and the Media" plenary session.
Meanwhile, Gunther Verheugen, former EU Enlargement Commissioner, is among the guests at the gathering where academics from 30 countries, including Turkey, will analyze coups, their basis, impacts and methods of fighting them.