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July 15 veteran returns medal, ID to ministry

Sabri Ünal, a Turkish man who was injured while trying to stop a tank during a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 in İstanbul’s Altunizade neighborhood and was later granted the status of veteran, has returned his veteran’s medal and ID to Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policy, Turkish media reports said.

Ünal, who lost an arm while trying to stop tanks driven by putschist soldiers, announced from his Twitter account that he had submitted a petition to the ministry seeking his resignation from the status of veteran.

“Level one has been completed. I submitted my petition for resignation and the necessary documents to the ministry. I returned my veteran’s ID and veteran’s medal as well as the free travel card. From now on, nobody should use my name in any event on July 15 to avoid putting themselves in a difficult situation,” tweeted Ünal.

Two hundred forty-nine people were killed and a thousand others were injured during the coup attempt, which was suppressed over the course of the night.

The injured individuals were granted the status of veteran after the coup attempt and given some special rights and privileges.

Ünal did not provide a reason for his decision to give up his veteran status; however, said he expects the launch of an investigation into him and that Turkish authorities might want him to undergo a psychological evaluation due to his decision.

Ünal closed his Twitter account following his announcement.

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