Turkey is to rename a bridge over the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul after the victims of the failed July 15 coup bid aimed at unseating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister has said.
The bridge, opened in 1973 and known until now simply as Bosphorus Bridge, will now be known as July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge, Binali Yildirim told reporters after a late night cabinet meeting yesterday.
He said that the bridge had been chosen to be renamed as it was the “first target of the coup plotters” on the night of July 15, resulting in the deaths of several civilians.
The bridge – a key strategic point linking Europe to Asia – had been blocked by armed rebel soldiers late on July 15 in one of the first signs to Istanbul residents a coup was in progress.
Backed by attack helicopters, they fired on the crowds of pro-Erdogan supporters who converged on the bridge. The rebels eventually surrendered on the bridge after being overwhelmed by sheer numbers protesting.
The protestors were responding to the calls of President Erdogan to resist the curfew imposed by the coup loyalists among the military. Erdogan has since then responded with a heavy hand with thousands of government workers, army men, teachers and various others being dismissed.
On Wednesday, Erdogan declared a state of emergency in the country for upto three months.