Turkey marks anniversary of failed coup attempt

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.

This week, Turkey is commemorating the coup anniversary in a series of events which will culminate late Saturday in parliament, where Erdogan is expected to speak at exactly the moment the building was attacked. "So we would like to draw the attention of these countries as well (to the danger posed by Feto)", he said.

Turkey witnessed a dramatic attempt to overthrow Erdogan, resulting in the killing of up to 260 people and leaving more than 2,000 injured.

Flag-waving crowds gathered at the foot of the Bosphorus Bridge - now renamed Martyr's Bridge - the location where crowds confronted soldiers and tanks.

The demonstration was in response to the widespread jailings and dismissals authorised by the Turkish government after last year's failed coup attempt.

In the latest dismissals, another 7,563 police, soldiers and other state employees were fired late on Friday under the state of emergency that has been in place since July 20 past year.

Turkey survived a military takeover attempt on July 15, previous year and the government dismissed some 140,000 people over alleged ties to the Gulen movement, accused to have organized the attempt.

State-run Anadolu news agency said Avci was accused of membership of the "Gulenist Terror Organisation" (FETO), as Turkey refers to the movement of US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, an ally-turned-foe of Erdogan.

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Erdogan also threatened to "chop off the heads" of traitors, in the speech marking the first anniversary of a failed coup bid that aimed to oust him from power.

Gulen on Friday again denied any involvement in what he called a "despicable putsch", and called on Ankara to end its "witch hunt" of his followers.

She said it was disappointing to note that as the people of Turkey fought back to defend their democracy, the rest of Europe merely stood by and watched.

In the 12 months since then, a state of emergency had been in place across the country.

"The preservation of democracy requires perseverance, tolerance, dissent and safeguards for fundamental freedoms", the agency said, warning that curbs on those key freedoms erode "the foundations of democratic society".

Thousands of people are participating marches in Istanbul and Ankara this weekend.

As they did on the night of the 2016 coup attempt, after midnight on Saturday, mosques across Turkey will simultaneously recite a verse, usually read before Friday prayers, to invite Muslims to the streets.

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