By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) – On the fateful date July 15, 2016, Turkey saw a blatant attempt at a coup, said the deputy chair of Turkey's main opposition party on Thursday, criticizing those who call the defeated coup something "staged.”
"Some people say July 15 was staged. This is not true, it was a clear attempt at a bloody coup," Ozgur Ozel, deputy chair of the Republican People's Party (CHP), told Anadolu Agency.
Ozel said that the coup plotters meant to destroy Turkey's "government, parliament, and democracy."
Ozel said he was proud of lawmakers' defiance of the defeated coup, as they "were in the general assembly with us the night of July 15."
Some sections of the Turkish parliament building were bombed during the course of the coup attempt.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which martyred 251 people and injured nearly 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.
Ozel, however, criticized the government’s declaration of a state of emergency after the coup attempt.
"I deeply regret the state of emergency that was declared after July 15," he said.
He called the state of emergency “political disrespect” that was “ungrateful to the Turkish parliament."
Declared days after the defeated coup attempt, the state of emergency was lifted two years later, on July 19, 2018.