Democracy and National Unity Day in Turkey Date in the current year: July 15, 2024

Democracy and National Unity Day in Turkey Democracy and National Unity Day (Demokrasi ve Milli Birlik Günü) is a public holiday in Turkey celebrated on July 15. It is the country’s newest public holiday, created to commemorate the national unity against the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt that took place on July 15, 2016.

On July 15, 2016 a fraction within the Turkish Armed Forces attempted to seize control of several key objects in Ankara, Istanbul, and some other cities while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was on family vacation.

The plotters declared martial law and imposed a curfew. However, they were unable to retain power because a significant part of the military and the entire police force supported the government. The plotters began to surrender in the early hours of July 16. An extensive purge of the Turkish civil service began in the wake of the coup attempt. Several thousand military official, police officers, civil servants, governors and judges were arrested or suspended, including every university dean in Turkey.

Democracy and National Unity Day, also known as Democracy and Freedoms Day, was officially established in December 2016 by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It is dedicated to those who participated in the suppression of the coup. On July 15, there are memorial services in honor of the soldiers, police officers and civilians who were killed during the coup attempt.

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