Turkey commemorated on Sunday the second anniversary of a bloody attempted coup that triggered a wave of of public-sector purges and efforts to increase President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, AFP reported.
“We will continue our struggle relentlessly… within and beyond our borders,” Erdogan told tens of thousands of people assembled near an Istanbul bridge spanning the Bosphoros that was the scene of some of the worst fighting on the night of July 15, 2016.
Nearly 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded after a rogue military faction attempted to overthrow the president.
The government blamed the attempted coup on Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim preacher who was once an ally of Erdogan.
Across the country, Turks visited the graves of loved ones killed in the violence.
Earlier Sunday, Erdogan participated in a religious ceremony in a mosque in Ankara, the capital, before hosting a lunch for victims’ families and people who were wounded that day at the presidential palace.
July 15 has been declared a national holiday.