The Turkish Presidency has revealed the design theme and architectural information about a monument built to commemorate the victims of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, which will be inaugurated on July 16 in front of the presidential palace in the capital Ankara.
The presidency’s press center said in a statement that the 31.4-meter high monument, called “July 15 Martyrs’ Monument,” will cover a 2,500-square meter space in front of the presidential complex, together with a ceremony area.
The rustic green marble covered monument will also include a sitting area and a four-step amphitheater system for visitors.
It will feature the names and stone-carved images of 249 people who died during the coup attempt along with seven human figures carrying the crescent and the star, the symbols of the Turkish flag. Some 81 human silhouettes are also featured around the monument.
The number seven refers to the seven geographical regions of the country to symbolize citizens who took to the streets to thwart the coup from all of Turkey’s 81 provinces.
In addition, another monument will be inaugurated during the commemoration events in Istanbul adjacent to the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge, previously known as Bosphorus Bridge, where soldiers blocked the road with tanks on the night of the coup attempt.
A total of 250 cypress trees and roses were planted in the park housing the dome-shaped monument to commemorate the victims with their names carved on plaques.
The Islamic prayer “Salah” will also be recited inside the monument 24/7.
Coup attempt commemorations begin
Meanwhile, Turkish officials have started to mark the first anniversary of the coup attempt with a series of commemoration events that will last for a week.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım visited the 15 July Martyrs Cemetery in the Edirnekapı neighborhood of Istanbul’s Fatih district on July 11.
Yıldırım, who arrived before Erdoğan, greeted visitors and distributed toys to children at the entrance of the cemetery.
Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Deputy Chair and Spokesman Mahir Ünal, AKP Deputy Chair Hayati Yazıcı, Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin, 1st Army Commander Gen. Musa Avsever and Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş were also present at the cemetery.
Many locals were also present at the cemetery, chanting slogans including: “Martyrs do not die, the homeland is not divided.”
Erdoğan and Yıldırım stayed at the cemetery for about two hours, with Erdoğan reciting the Quran and praying. They later visited the grave of Erdoğan’s former public advisor Erol Olçok and his son, who were killed by soldiers on the night of the failed coup attempt.
In Ankara, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu inaugurated a photo exhibition titled “The Treacherous July 15 Coup Attempt in Photos,” organized by the Directorate General of Press and Information.
Soylu also visited the tombs of those killed on the night of the attempt in Ankara’s Gölbaşı district.
In the southern province of Adana, Turkish EU Minister Ömer Çelik visited the graves of police officers Ahmet and Mehmet Oruç, who were killed in the Gölbaşı district in an air attack during the attempted putsch.
Environment and Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki visited the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri’s garrison and Air Command Cemetery.
In the northwestern province of Bursa, morning prayers were pronounced at the historical Grand Mosque followed by a Quran recitation. After morning prayers, soup was distributed to the public outside the mosque.
Additionally, various activities were organized by non-governmental organizations and local municipalities across Turkey.
Throughout the week, Turkish embassies around the world will hold memorial services and issue press releases about the coup attempt, while messages will also be shared in mainstream and social media.
Some 249 people were killed and 2,193 were wounded on the night of the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, widely believed to have been masterminded by what the government calls the Fethullahist Terorist Organization (FETO) of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.