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Turkish agency launches tree plantation in Pakistan to honour failed coup martyrs

ISLAMABAD: A state-run Turkish aid agency planted hundreds of tree samplings at a community park in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi to honour the people who sacrificed their lives to foil the so-called coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) planted over 250 samplings at a park located in Karachi’s southern district at a ceremony attended by the local and Turkish community members, girl and boy scouts, and media professionals, to honour as many martyrs of July 15.

TIKA, which has already been carrying out a string of development, health, and educational projects across Pakistan, will further develop the park as well.

The ceremony began with a recitation from the Quran by a visually impaired boy scout followed by Turkish and Pakistani national anthems.

A “moment of silence” was also observed.

Addressing the ceremony, Vice Consul General Oguz Kozanli said the martyrs of July 15 charted a new page in Turkey’s history with their blood, which will always be remembered.

He said the people and the security forces of Turkey stood united and saved democracy in 2016, with their unwavering resolve and unyielding commitment.

Halil Ibrahim Basaran, TIKA’s Karachi coordinator, said Ankara and Islamabad have always stood together in trying times, whether it was devastating earthquakes in Turkey in February this year or unprecedented floods in Pakistan last year.

The people of Pakistan stood by their Turkish brethren in their successful struggle against the conspirators who wanted to derail democracy in Turkey on July 15.

The defeated coup

This year, which marks the seventh anniversary of the botched coup, events are being held under the theme of “Turkey’s Heroes of the Century,” to honour the people who defended the country at the cost of their lives on the night of July 15.

The attempt by FETO terrorist group to overthrow the government began around 10:00 pm local time (1900GMT) on July 15 and was thwarted by 8:00 am the following day.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 253 people dead and 2,734 injured.

Since its designation in October 2016, every year, the country marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day, with events held to commemorate those who lost their lives beating back the putschists and to remember the bravery of the nation.

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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