Massive crowds expected at anti-coup rally in Turkey

Published August 7th, 2016 - 08:00 GMT
People gather for a rally in Gundogdu Square in Izmir on August 4, 2016, protesting against the failed July 15 military coup attempt, with the participation of Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu (not pictured). (AFP/File)
People gather for a rally in Gundogdu Square in Izmir on August 4, 2016, protesting against the failed July 15 military coup attempt, with the participation of Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu (not pictured). (AFP/File)

Hundreds of thousands are expected to join a pro-government rally Sunday in Istanbul, closing three weeks of nationwide demonstrations following the July 15 coup attempt, AFP reported.

Followers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party have taken to the streets every night, in some cases occupying main squares in other cities for days on end, since the failed coup which left at least 273 dead.

The "Democracy and Martyrs" rally is expected to be held under high security, with Erdogan inviting leaders of all political parties - except the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) - to address the crowds.

The rally will be held at Istanbul's Yenikapi Square, with some predicting that over 3 million could attend. Yenikapi, located in Istanbul's conservative Fatih district, is often chosen by Erdogan for his party's mass rallies.

The leader of the far-right National Movement Party (MHP) announced on Twitter that he had accepted Erdogan's invitation to speak at the rally.

"I will stand on the side of Turkey against traitors and centers of hostility," he wrote online.

Meanwhile, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), initially refused to take part, then later said he would send representatives instead, and finally agreed to attend after all, due to "our commitment to democracy, our faith in rule of law and our eternal respect for martyrs."


© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

You may also like

Subscribe

Sign up to our newsletter for exclusive updates and enhanced content