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Democracy and National Unity Day of Turkey

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President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan greet people, as they arrive at July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge after marching with hundreds of thousands of citizens to attend July 15 Democracy and National Unity Day’s events to mark July 15 defeated coup’s 1st anniversary at July 15 Martyrs Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey on July 15, 2017. As many as 249 people were martyred and nearly 2,200 people injured in the defeated 15th of July 2016 coup attempt, which the Turkish government said was carried out by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) led by US.-based Turkish citizen Fetullah Gulen. President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan salute citizens upon their arrival at July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge after marching with hundreds of thousands of citizens to attend July 15 Democracy and National Unity Day’s events, marking July 15 defeated coup’s 1st anniversary in Istanbul, Turkey on July 15, 2017.
Democracy and National Solidarity Day 2019 in Turkey: Democracy and National Solidarity Day is a Turkish public holiday that occurs every 15 July. It was declared as recently as 2016, after the failed coup attempt by a part of the Turkish Armed Forces that took place on that date.
Part of the army rebelled and tried to take over parts of the capital city of Ankara and specific areas of certain other cities as well. The revolt occurred while President Erdogan was on vacation, but nonetheless, it failed. Most of the army and all of the national police remained loyal to the government, and the rebels began to surrender within a day’s time. After the coup, a purge was conducted to root out suspected rebel sympathizers in the military, police, and civil services. President Erdogan had 15 July established as Democracy and National Solidarity Day, or Democracy and Freedom Day, in December of 2016, not long after the failed coup attempt that had attempted to overthrow him.
Exactly three years ago, in the night of the 15th July 2016, the Turkish people thwarted an attempt of a coup d’état staged by members of the terrorist organization of Fethullah Gülen, infiltrated into the armed forces and other public institutions. It was a gruesome terrorist attack, unprecedented in the history of the Republic of Turkey. The Turkish people were united and bravely confronted. Unarmed civilians stood in front of tanks like a living shield defending public institutions. The people made it clear that they would not let armed groups shape the future of Turkey against the people’s will.
In the night of the coup it was immediately clear that 15 July had been planned by FETO, masterminded by its leader Fethullah Gülen and carried out by FETO elements within the armed forces with the help of their civilian cadres. An extensive investigation in the past three years has supplied evidence to prove this truth. More and more army officers – FETO members – are beginning to admit that the coup attempt was orchestrated by civilian elements of FETO by-passing the chain of command.
Crypto application for internal FETO communication, so-called “Bylock”, was an important source of information that helped identify FETO members. Besides, the contents of 1.7 million messages exchanged by organization members are deciphered bit by bit revealing the scope of the network FETO had built in the country and abroad, as well as their criminal activities such as collection of intelligence information, corruption, installing their men in key positions, forging documents and the like.
Action has been taken against 4000 civil servants. Most of covert FETO members in the armed forces have been apprehended. As a result of the judicial and administrative action within Turkey, state institutions have been mostly cleansed of FETO and the backbone of the organization has been broken.
Foreign public has begun to realize that FETO is not a social movement engaging in education and humanitarian activities as it pretends to be.
For Turkey and third countries alike, FETO is a threat and danger. It applies the same strategy at home and abroad using schools as the axis for increasing its economic and political power, spreading its network and pursuing illegal activities. With this realization, foreign countries have started deepening their cooperation with Turkey in the struggle against FETO.
One by one, FETO is losing control of its educational institutions as its most efficient instrument of militant upbringing and financial source. Hundreds of FETO schools/courses have been closed in more than 30 countries. In fact they have either been closed or put under state control or transferred to the Maarif Vakuf foundation. It is estimated that, with the exception of “charter” schools in the USA run by FETO, one half of the total number of schools have been saved from the claws of FETO.
In addition, movement limitations have been set to FETO leaders abroad. Investigations of judicial case files of key members of this structure abroad have been speeded up. In the last three years, FETO administrators from various countries have been deported back to Turkey. Many other FETO members have been banished from third countries by means of residence permit cancellations. In some states, judicial procedures against FETO organization have been launched.