16 July, 2017
Turkey has experienced a year of political turmoil following a failed coup on July 15, 2016.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued a resounding warning to those seeking to create strife or threaten democracy in the country by saying that those caught will "pay a heavy price".
The day has been declared an annual holiday. But Erdogan had already left and the coup attempt was put down by civilians and security forces.
Turkey was on Saturday gearing up to commemorate the first anniversary of the failed military coup attempt, with various events to take place, including the unveiling of a monument dedicated to the 249 people who lost their lives. Ankara blames the followers of US -based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen for the attempt to overthrow the government.
Two hundred and forty nine people, not including the plotters, were killed when a disgruntled faction in the army sent tanks into the streets and war planes into the sky in a bid to overthrow Erdogan after one-and-a-half decades in power.
Gulen, who remains in the United States, denied any involvement.
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The US government praised the citizens of Turkey who opposed and helped foil a coup attempt to topple the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a year ago, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement. More than 50,000 people have been arrested and some 100,000 public employees sacked for alleged links to Gulen and other terror groups.
Public transport is free in Istanbul over the weekend while mobile operator Turkcell has sent text messages to clients promising them a free extra gigabyte of data from July 15.
As in the night of the coup attempt, mosques across Turkey will simultaneously recite a verse, usually read before Friday prayers, to alert and invite Muslims to the streets.