People stand under a collection of Turkish national flags as they gather on the "July 15 Martyrs Bridge" (Bosphorus Bridge) in Istanbul on July 15, 2017.
/ AFP / YASIN AKGUL
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to "rip the heads off" of terror groups and coup-plotters who tried to end his more than decadelong rule Saturday, as Turkey marked the anniversary of the country's crushed military coup with a series of rallies and other commemorative events. Accompanied by his family and the families of the victims of the coup, Erdogan joined a massive, flag-waving crowd near the iconic July 15 Martyrs' Bridge in Istanbul to remember 250 people who died on July 15, 2016, resisting the coup.Erdogan had already left and the coup attempt was put down by civilians and security forces.In the aftermath of the coup attempt, Turkey declared a state of emergency that has been in place ever since, which has allowed the government to rule by decree and to dismiss tens of thousands of people from their jobs.Tens of thousands of people were holding "democracy vigils" – similar to vigils held in the days following the coup.
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