No network of traitors or terrorist organizations can disrupt the unity, solidarity and brotherhood in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday on the third anniversary of the July 15 failed coup attempt.
Addressing the public at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Erdogan said Turkey would never be occupied by those who sold their souls to the devil.
"On the night of July 15, they wanted to bury Turkey in darkness but failed. Allah ruined their traps," he said.
"I salute every member of our heroic nation who stood against planes, tanks and bullets to protect the independence of our nation and the future of our country on July 15.”
In his speech, Erdogan applauded the soldiers and staff of the Turkish Armed Forces.
"I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of myself and my nation to our media, non-governmental organizations and intellectuals for setting an example to the world," Erdogan said.
"We announced this date as a national holiday, calling it Democracy and National Unity Day for the coming generations to remember the martyrs of July 15.
"Today, if we can speak freely, take a breath and keep working, we owe it to our martyrs, veterans and all the heroes," he said.
Erdogan also emphasized that those who support the opposite side on issues concerning the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and Aegean are being fooled.
He slammed those who see Turkey's struggle in the diplomatic, economic and military realms "as simply a political squabble".
On the issue of Russia’s S-400 air defense system, Erdogan said eight missiles have already arrived in Turkey and there are more to come.
"All S-400 defense missiles will be deployed by April 2020," he said.
Erdogan said this was a joint investment with Russia and that the S-400s were the most powerful defense system.
The president also attended the opening ceremony of the July 15 Memorial Museum at the former Bogazici (Bosphorus) Bridge, now called the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge.
He stressed the importance of passing down history to the coming generations accurately.
"History is not only the past of a nation but also the compass of the future," Erdogan said.
"When we look at our past, not only do we take a lesson, we also take strength, we get courage and inspiration.”
Erdogan also emphasized the importance of being conscious of history and said the government has implemented such projects to improve people’s knowledge about the past.
Turkey marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day. The day is commemorated with events honoring those who lost their lives while defeating the putschists and to remember the bravery of the nation.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the legitimate state apparatus through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary./aa