Aliye Şenoğlu, a public official working for Adana’s Seyhan Municipality and a member of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has been put in pretrial detention for criticizing a series of events held by the Turkish government to celebrate the first anniversary of the defeat of a coup attempt last year.
On the first anniversary of a failed coup on July 15, 2016, Ankara declared July 15 an annual national holiday of “democracy and unity,” billing the foiling of the attempt as a historic victory for Turkish democracy.
Thousands of government supporters attended rallies and other commemorative events across Turkey as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself also joined a massive, flag-waving crowd near the Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul to remember the 249 people who died resisting the coup.
However, many others, mostly those who are critical of the government, criticized the mass rallies and other celebrations as they believed that tens of innocent Turkish soldiers were lynched on the bridge, which became the scene of a confrontation between soldiers trying to overthrow the government and a group of Erdoğan supporters.
Şenoğlu, one of the critics of the celebrations, in a Facebook post on July 14, 2017, cursed those who caused the death of soldiers on the night of the putsch.
“The dogs that want to celebrate July 15! July 15 is a black day for Turkey. It is the day on which two religious mafias murdered 20-year-old soldiers who know nothing about the attempt. A curse be upon those who tortured my soldiers on that day,” Şenoğlu said.
She also posted several photos showing soldiers being attacked by tens of civilians upon their surrender on the bridge.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed at 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
The group denies any involvement.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.
The government has also suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.
Erdoğan is criticized for using the coup attempt as an excuse to oppress dissident voices.