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2016 coup attempt was result of Turkey straying from Atatürk principles, TBB chair says

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Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) Chairman Metin Feyzioğlu has said that a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 took place because Turkey had distanced itself from the principles of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey.

Speaking to reporters at a meeting in Düzce’s Akçakoca district organized by bar associations of the Black Sea region, Feyzioğlu said: “The main reason for the July 15 attempt that brought the Turkish Republic to the verge of a huge disaster is without doubt the weakening of the qualities of our state as emphasized in the constitution and a distancing from the foundational principles that we call the Atatürk principles.”

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the botched coup attempt, Feyzioğlu said it is important to have an independent, objective judiciary that people can trust. He also warned authorities against accusing of treason those who think differently and express their concerns.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings.

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