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Thousands gather in Ankara for ‘democracy watches’

THOUSANDS GATHER IN ANKARA FOR ‘DEMOCRACY WATCHES’

Thousands of demonstrators gathered here Saturday for "democracy watches" as part of a nationwide "Democracy and National Unity Day" to mark one year since a deadly failed government overthrow.

Protesters flocked to the Beştepe neighborhood and in the Ulus and Kızılay districts, for a unity march to the parliament.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will address parliament in Ankara at 2.32 a.m. (1132GMT), the exact time parliament was bombed on the night of the attempted putsch.

Sunday's program will begin with a morning prayer at the Beştepe Millet Mosque in Ankara, followed by the opening of the July 15 Martyrs' Monument at the presidential complex.

The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader, Fetullah Gülen, is accused of orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which martyred 250 souls and injured 2,200 others.

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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