People wave Turkish flags as they listen to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a rally to honor the victims of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, part of the ceremonies for the three-year anniversary, in Istanbul, July 15, 2019.
ISTANBUL - Turkey commemorated a three-year-old failed military coup Monday, as the fallout over the botched takeover deepens political divisions within the country and strains ties with its Western allies.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended events in the capital, Ankara, to mark the anniversary of the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. He visited armed forces headquarters, the scene of bloody fighting.
In the evening, Erdogan addressed a rally of thousands at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.
"On the right of July 15, they (coup plotters) wanted to bury Turkey into darkness, but failed," he said."Allah ruined their traps."
Turkish President Erdogan addresses his supporters during a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the attempted coup at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, July 15, 2019.
Erdogan's arrival at the airport on the night of the failed coup was widely seen as a turning point where he was able to rally support. On the day of the failed coup, he was vacationing at a Turkish resort and narrowly escaped capture by rogue military forces.
The parliament building and presidential palace were bombed. More than 250 people died, and thousands more were injured. Most of the casualties were unarmed civilians resisting the takeover.
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