ISTANBUL

The age of coups in Turkey has come to an end thanks to Turkish people’s heroic defense against the coup plotters on July 15, 2016, the Turkish parliament speaker said on Saturday.

Turkish people’s resistance played the biggest role to eliminate putschists and their mindset, Mustafa Sentop said at a symposium against coups held on Democracy and Freedom Island.

He said the Turkish people will always protect their constitution, democracy, elections and votes at the cost of their lives.

Sentop said the period of coups, which started on May 27, 1960, ended on July 15, 2016, but it was officially closed by the constitutional amendments on April 16, 2017.

He stressed that it should be noted that all military coups are essentially non-national and against the nation and the state.

On the US presidential candidate Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks about Turkey and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sentop said their “sick expressions are humorous manifestations of old habits.”

The remarks by the presumptive US Democratic presidential candidate drew harsh criticism of all segments of Turkish political actors including both government and opposition.

Macron had reportedly said: “We must be tough with the Turkish government and not with the Turkish people, who deserve more than the Erdogan government.”

Today, Turkey remembered the Sept. 12, 1980 bloody coup that still stands as a black stain in Turkish political history.

It is remembered as the coup that led to the detention of hundreds of thousands along with mass trials, torture and executions.

Forty years ago, Chief of General Staff Kenan Evren, the leading figure of the military coup, appeared on television and declared a military intervention, officially confirming the coup that would drastically affect the country in coming years.

Torture, ill-treatment and unhealthy conditions at prisons left 299 people dead. That still haunts the conscience of the Turkish nation.

Some survivors said they went through physical, mental and spiritual torture for years.

More than 650,000 people were detained and 230,000 put on trial for mainly political reasons. A total of 50 people were executed.

*Writing by Fahri Aksut

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