President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has likened the thwarting of July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt to the Conquest of Istanbul, saying that the takeover bid "was a breaking point."
"July 15 is a historical breaking point. It wasn't an ordinary coup attempt. What happened in the Battle of Manzikert happened on July 15. What happened in the Conquest of Istanbul happened on July 15. What happened in the War of Independence happened on July 15," Erdoğan said in a speech to mark the fourth year anniversary of the botched coup.
"July 15 is the latest ring of the chain of struggles of our existence that we have put forward for ages on this soil. Whoever tries to undermine it aims to overshadow this deep history," he also said.
During his speech, Erdoğan praised those who went out on the streets on the night of the attempted to coup to resist putschist soldiers.
"Sometimes, a single hero changes the fate of the whole nation. On July 15, millions of heroes emerged from all corners of our country and left a mark on the nation’s future," he said.
Commenting on the fact that jets used by coup soldiers bombed parliament during the attempt, Erdoğan said, "If they had been strong enough, you can be sure that they would not have hesitated to completely demolish parliament."
"If they had been strong enough, you can be sure that they would not have hesitated to kill notably the country's president and prime minister and all other elected executives."
Turkey marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day with events nationwide to commemorate those who killed when resisting putschists.
A number of structures and public spaces were renamed in the immediate aftermath of the coup bid, most notably Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge becoming the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge.Police prevent coup survivors' march in Ankara on takeover bid's fourth anniversary