Millions rally for Erdogan
OPPOSITION leaders and vast crowds of ordinary Turks rallied behind President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a huge show of unity against the plotters of last month’s failed coup.
The massive pro-democracy demonstration on August 7 transformed the city’s Yenikapi Square into a heaving sea of red and white Turkish flags with many taking part wearing headbands emblazoned with Mr Erdogan’s name.
Mr Erdogan was joined at the grand “Democracy and Martyrs” rally by the main opposition Republican People’s Party leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli.
Pro-government media said at least 3 million attended the gathering held under tight security with 15,000 police on duty.
Mr Erdogan said that the movement run by United States-based preacher Fethullah Gulen and blamed by Ankara for the July 15 coup attempt would “pay a price for what they have done”.
And he said that political parties would respect the will of the people if they wanted the return of the death penalty.
“If the nation makes such a decision [in support of the death penalty], I believe political parties will abide by this decision,” Mr Erdogan said. –