Turkey marks national holiday of "democracy and unity"

2017-07-15 13:50:46 GMT2017-07-15 21:50:46(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ISTANBUL, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Turkey marked its national holidayof "democracy and unity" on Saturday in bid to celebrate theanniversary of foiling the failed coup launched last July.

Turkey has embarked on the major purge in Turkey's history,arresting 50,000 people and sacking over 100,000 more. Erdogan alsoshored up his position by winning a referendum on enhancing hispowers earlier this year.

In the recent wave of dismissals ordered just hours another7,563 police, soldiers and other state employees were fired underthe state of emergency that has been in place since July 20 lastyear.

The coup bid also frayed ties between the United States andEuropean Union with NATO member Turkey, which accused its allies offailing to show solidarity.

Gulen has always denied involvement in the coup bid and in a newstatement Friday said the accusations were "baseless, politicallymotivated slanders" and slammed a "witch hunt" of Erdogan'scritics.

Saturday's commemorations target at etching July 15, 2016 intothe minds of Turks as a key date in the history of the modernstate. Enditem

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