TURKEY

Cyclists arrive in Ankara to honor July 15 martyrs

CYCLISTS ARRIVE IN ANKARA TO HONOR JULY 15 MARTYRS

Head of a Turkish diaspora organization's Munich chapter and four other members arrived in Turkey's capital Ankara on bicycles to pay respect to the martyrs of last year coup attempt.

They covered a distance of 2,700 kilometers (1,677 miles) from Munich to reach Ankara.

"The main objective of this journey is to pay homage to the martyrs of July 15, veterans and our president," Abdurrahman Serdar Cakmak, head of Union of European Turkish Democrats' (UETD) Munich chapter, told Anadolu Agency.

Reminding of his last year's visit to Turkey on a bicycle after defeated coup, Cakmak said: "We are aiming to organize a bike tour from Munich to Ankara in coming years as part of commemoration of our martyrs and veterans."

Cakmak said they began their ride 20 days ago with three bikes and two supporting staff. He said they presented a Turkish flag, which they brought with them, to Turkish Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman.

"Our journey has two themes. We want to honor the memory of July 15 martyrs and to become a bridge between Turkey and the people of Turkish origin in Balkans, Muslim people and the places of our ancestors."

Cakmak said he is a Turkish citizen of Kurdish origin from Sirnak province. "We are part of this country. We should show to PKK terrorist organization, FETO terrorist organization, Daesh terrorist organization and foreign powers that we are united."

He added: "We have shown that our unity cannot be destroyed by any power. We have also shown that we would ruin the plots like July 15 if necessary..."

Turkey survived a deadly coup attempt on July 15 last year that martyred 250 people and injured nearly 2,200 others. The FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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