Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday marked a year since the failed military coup by saying he would “cut off the heads” of traitors and treat those under trial “like in Guantanamo”. Erdogan made an emotional speech to thousands gathered at Istanbul’s Bosphorous Bridge, where the soldiers involved in the coup had clashed with civilians, leaving 36 dead there.

Erdogan said he was “grateful to all members of my nation who defended their country”, BBC reported. He added that Putschists had closed off the bridge to show that they were in control, but they were stopped by “millions who took to the streets that night to defend the honour of their nation”.

A section of the country’s military had rebelled and tried to overthrow the government’s on July 16, 2016. They faced resistance from thousands of citizens as well as Army troops, and more than 150 people were killed in the violence.

The government has since dismissed around 1.5 lakh public sector workers since the coup last year, suspecting them of being involved in the operations. However, Erdogan has also been widely criticised for his heavy-handed means of stifling dissent. It believes a group linked to exiled leader Fethullah Gulen was behind the coup.