Turkey to mark July 15 as democracy fest day, says PM Yildirim

Ankara: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Sunday said that July 15 will be marked as "democracy fest" day for Turkey as the attempted military coup was foiled with the cooperation and support of the Turkish people. The Turkish Parliament would discuss a number of new measures to prevent future attempts at a military coup in Turkey as legal procedures were launched to heavily punish the plotters, the Hurriyet daily news reported Yildirim as saying at a press conference.  Yildirim was accompanied at the press confference in his office by Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar, who was rescued from the hands of coup plotters after hours of captivity.  A critical question raised to Yildirim was whether the government would consider re-installing capital punishment for those military personnel on charges of treason.  “As you know the death penalty had been removed from our legal system. We will discuss with other political party leaders on what further measures we should take to prevent such future attempts,” Yildirim said. The coup attempt on July 15 was a black stain on Turkish democracy, but could be turned into the fest of democracy thanks to the Turkish people’s loyalty to democracy and its freedoms, the Hurriyet daily news reported Yildirim as saying. “Our people gave the best response to this terror gang. July 15 has now turned into the fest of our democracy,” he said, praising the citizens who stood in front of tanks in Istanbul and elsewhere in the country.  “We could therefore get rid of a very big trouble,” Yildirim added, praising those civilians and security personnel who have lost their lives while opposing the plotters.  Political parties, non-governmental organisations, media and all other institutions who have expressed their support with the government against coup plotters played a crucial role in stalling the attempt, Yildirim stressed.  “Those who have committed terror by using the state’s weapons, tanks, warplanes, ammunition against the Turkish people were much more inglorious than the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party),” Yildirim added.  At least 161 persons were killed and 1,440 wounded during the coup, the Prime Minister said, adding 2,836 soldiers were arrested, including high-ranking officers.  The Prime Minister said the first phase against plotters has ended and it was time to pass to the second phase in which plotters will undergo prosecution to get necessary punishment.