European Parliament head tours damaged Turkish parliament
European Parliament President Martin Schulz and international parliamentary assembly heads on Thursday toured parts of Turkey’s Parliament building damaged during a recent coup attempt.

"Women, men and the young ones made themselves shields for democracy. Many people lost their lives. We owe them for democracy. I could not see this incident was dramatic that much before visiting here. I could not feel it," Schulz said and laid a small wreath at the site of one of the damaged areas.

On social media, the EP chair expressed the backing for the Turkish government from the parliament and offered his condolences for the victims. "The European Parliament's support for democracy in Turkey remains unequivocal. I have paid tribute to the courage of Turkish citizens who took to the streets to defend democracy and derailed the plan of the plotters,” Schulz said via Twitter.

"The attempt against democracy was paramount and required exceptional measures to safeguard the democratic institutions. Yet the exceptional nature of the measures and of the state of emergency should not fail the test of proportionality and of the rule of law", he added.

Turkey's government has said the July 15 defeated coup, which left more than 240 people martyred, was organized by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, or FETO, led by Fetullah Gulen who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 1999.

Gulen is accused of leading a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Last Modified: 2016-09-02 07:24:36
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