“The regulation is aimed at protecting the citizens who ran to the streets, laid down their lives to prevent the attempted coup and events right after it,” Yildirim told reporters at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport before heading to Saudi Arabia.

“The issue is loud and clear. Nobody should create distractions.”

Sunday’s decree grants immunity to civilians who defended Turkey’s democracy on July 15 and 16. However, some interpreted it as giving immunity for future transgressions.

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said Monday the decree applied to the night and following morning of the defeated coup to ensure legal action was not taken against people who opposed pro-coup forces.

The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the attempted coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara has also accused FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

As part of an official visit to Saudi Arabia, Yildirim will meet  King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss world and regional affairs, such as the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem.

Yildirim pointed to “the deep-rooted, historical and religious ties” between Turkey and Saudi Arabia and said countries were collaborating in economic and military fields as well as on regional issues.

He highlighted the Turkish-Saudi Coordination Council established during King Salman’s visit to Turkey last year, which launched a new era in relations of the nations.

Boosting trade and investment would come under discussions during his trip, Yildirim said.

Anadolu Agency