Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is more powerful today when compared to the period before the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“Turkish army is way more powerful today when compared to the period before July 15. Turkish army is the army of this precious nation,” Yıldırım said in the special session in the parliament’s general assembly with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara on July 15, as he added that one year has passed since “Turkey’s darkest night was transformed into a bright morning.”
“If we are able to gather here today, we owe it to our 250 heroic martyrs and veterans and great Turkish nation. July 15 is the day that this nation showed apocalypse to its enemy. July 15 is the day that faithful Turks crushed tanks. July 15 is the day that the nation melted weapons with their bare hands,” he also said.
On July 15, 2016, coup plotters blocked roads and bombed state institutions, including the parliament, before the attempted takeover was thwarted with the help of citizens resisting putschist soldiers on the streets. A total of 250 people were killed and 2,193 others were wounded on the night of the attempted coup.
Saying that millions of people launched the second struggle for independence with a call from President Erdoğan, Yıldırım noted that “we made the most beautiful history.”
“Turkey told the whole world that this soil will remain free and independent via fitting a 10-year-long struggle into one night,” he added.
During his speech, Yıldırım praised lawmakers for continuing their duties on July 15, 2016, in the parliament while it was bombed by coup pilots.
“Our lawmakers left their party identities aside and owned up to our country altogether. They were on duty of national will to the death and didn’t leave the parliament even though bombs were pouring. My people also owned up to their parliament that night to the death to not leave their sovereignty to the enemies,” he said.
Yıldırım also said that “Turkey is a nation that consists of all faiths and cultures.”
“Those who are FETÖ mouthpieces, who don’t feel the July 15 spirit and those who are not worthy of the Yenikapı spirit can only be together with controlled souls,” he said in an apparent reference to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s previous remarks regarding the coup attempt being a “controlled one.”
Kılıçdaroğlu in April said that the coup attempt occurred within the knowledge of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and was therefore a “controlled coup,” which was met with harsh criticism from the government and President Erdoğan.