Turkish security forces have neutralized more than 17,000 terrorists since July 2015, the country’s defence minister said on Wednesday.
“Turkey is determined to end the terrorism and our campaigns against terrorists will continue with the same precision,” Hulusi Akar reiterated during a memorial ceremony to honour martyrs of defeated 2016 coup.
Since the beginning of 2020, 1,900 terrorists have been neutralized, Akar added.
The ceremony was also attended by the chiefs of land, air and naval forces as well as chief of general staff. The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkish authorities use the term “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured. Also touching upon the fight against FETO, Akar said some 20,000 people employed in the military have been dismissed over their links to FETO since the coup bid.
Earlier, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday shared a video to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2016 defeated coup.
“Four years ago an attempted military coup perpetrated by FETO terrorist organization was stopped by the Turkish nation. Turkish people united against the traitors and protected their democracy. Turkish people’s #VictoryofDemocracy,” read a tweet by the ministry along with the video.
The video revolves around a young Turkish pupil studying abroad, who delivers a powerful response to his professor’s remarks on coup attempts around the world.
The professor says: “According to an article, there have been 236 successful military coup attempts since 1950. In not one, did the unarmed public who were facing an asymmetric power imbalance, demonstrate a simultaneous civil act of will against the armed forces.”
“Unfortunately, there has been no attempted coup in world history resisted and stopped solely by the nation itself.”
The student challenges the teacher’s assertion with a simple sentence: “Until the 15th of July 2016.” “That night, the Turkish nation, old and young alike, were all united for democracy and the future of their country. They put their lives on the line, made history, and stopped the dark coup attempt,” he continued.
“The Turkish nation made history that night. This is a milestone in the history of coups, and for democracy.” Turkey marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day with events nationwide to commemorate those who lost their lives beating back the putschists and to remember the bravery of the nation.
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. Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.