TURKEY

US hails Turkish people's determination to stand up for democracy on July 15

US HAILS TURKISH PEOPLES DETERMINATION TO STAND UP FOR DEMOCRACY ON JULY 15

The U.S. State Department hailed the bravery of Turkish people who took to the streets to protect their democracy from a brutal coup attempt by Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ)-linked soldiers July 15, 2016.

In a statement issued Friday, the State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated U.S. support for Turkey's democracy, as she commended Turkish people for their determination.

"One year ago, Turkey's brave and dedicated citizens of all backgrounds and political views defended their democracy against an attempted coup" Nauert said.

The spokesperson added that the actions of those who took to the streets on July 15 remind everyone about the fact that the preservation of democracy requires "perseverance, tolerance, dissent and safeguards for fundamental freedoms," adding that diversity is necessary in such challenging periods.

"We offer our condolences to the friends and loved ones of those injured or killed during the coup attempt" the statement said.

FETÖ, led by its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen attempted to bring down Turkey's democratically elected government through a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, which was successfully thwarted after millions of people took to the streets and defended democracy. A total of 249 people were killed and nearly 2,200 people were injured during the coup attempt.

The terror group is also accused of orchestrating a long-running campaign to infiltrate Turkish state institutions, including the military, judiciary and police with the ultimate goal of taking over.

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