Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has given emotional speeches to tens of thousands of people a year after a coup attempt was faced down in the streets.

Mr Erdogan praised those people, including MPs, who had defended democracy and his government.

He backed the death penalty for coup plotters and said they should wear Guantanamo Bay-style uniforms.

Nearly 250 people died and 2,196 were wounded fighting the coup attempt by an army faction on 15 July last year.

The government has since led a crackdown on alleged coup supporters, with the dismissal of more than 150,000 state employees and the arrest of some 50,000 people.

The coup failed for several reasons, including a lack of support in higher echelons of the armed forces and a lack of political or public backing.

Plotters tried to detain Mr Erdogan as he holidayed in an Aegean resort, but he had left and the coup was thwarted by civilians and soldiers loyal to the president. It is on these people that the president has focused in commemorations.

“People that night did not have guns, they had a flag and more importantly, they had their faith,” he told thousands of supporters.

However, the national unity that was initially felt against the coup has faded, and divisions have widened, correspondents say.

Opponents of Mr Erdogan boycotted the day and night of speeches and pageantry. They say his government’s actions over the past year amount to an attempt to purge dissent.

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SOURCE: BBC News

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