Turkey

Erdogan highlights 'Island of Democracy and Freedom'

Turkish president says Yassiada will have capacity to host international meetings for days

17.06.2018
Erdogan highlights 'Island of Democracy and Freedom' President of Turkey and the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) addresses during Turkey's ruling AK Party’s mega rally at the Yenikapi Square in Istanbul, Turkey on June 17, 2018. ( Kayhan Özer - Anadolu Agency )

By Kubra Chohan

ANKARA

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday highlighted Yassiada as Turkey's "Island of Democracy and Freedom".

Speaking at ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s mega rally in Istanbul's Yenikapi fairgrounds, Erdogan said the island would host a massive convention center with the capacity to hold international meetings for days.

“The international community has this [international convention center] but we did not. Now we are taking the first step for this, and the name is Island of Democracy and Freedom.”

Yassiada, which is seen as a symbol of the sorrows of Turkish democracy, is located in the Sea of Marmara to the southeast of Istanbul.

The island is where Turkey's first democratically-elected Prime Minister Adnan Menderes along with all the leading Democratic Party (DP) members were arrested after the May 27, 1960, military coup, and were later jailed and tried.

Menderes and DP deputies were put on trial on charges of violating the constitution as well as embezzling money from state funds by a military court on the island of Yassiada.

 The Yassiada Court had sentenced Menderes and his two ministers Fatin Rustu Zorlu and Hasan Polatkan to death; they were led to their execution by the junta on the island of Imrali, located in the south of Marmara Sea.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also addressed the rally and underlined AK Party’s services to Turkey in the last 15 years. “What we have done is a guarantor of what we will do."

Turkey’s former Premier Tansu Ciller also attended the rally and said: “Everybody says something but the nation will have the final say. I am here today with only my national conscience.” 

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