Turkey is holding a series of events to mark the first anniversary of last year's failed coup. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been accused of using excessive force against anyone who is remotely linked to the coup, is expected to address rallies in Ankara and Istanbul on Saturday, 15 July, 2017.
Turkey witnessed a dramatic attempt to overthrow Erdogan, resulting in the killing of up to 260 people and leaving more than 2,000 injured. Following the bloody incident, the Turkish government has purged the police, the judiciary and other state institutions s of tens of thousands of employees over the past one year. The Erdogan administration has brushed aside charges of high-handedness in dealing with the aftermath of the attempt to seize power by factions within the army.
On the eve of the anniversary, a video recreating the moments when Turkish security forces were killed in the coup attempt was widely shared as part of the government's propaganda blitz.
Official ceremonies will begin with the Turkish parliament commemorating the day with leaders of all political parties making speeches. Simultaneous rallies are set to take place in Ankara and Istanbul at 6.30pm local time.
Turkey has blamed Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is now living in self-imposed exile in the US, for trying to bring down the Erdogan government. The prominent cleric has denied any involvement in the plot.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters on Friday, 14 July, that the stand taken by the western world on the botched coup was unacceptable. "The attitude that the US and some European countries have taken towards various July 15 commemoration events is not acceptable under any circumstances," he said.
He was speaking on the same day the government announced its latest round of dismissals as more than 7,000 staff from the police, the academic world, and the army were relieved of their duties.