Er­do­gan, op­po­si­tion unite in Turkey rally

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

A PRO-DEMOC­RACY rally in re­sponse to Turkey’s failed coup at­tempt is be­ing held in Istanbul, unit­ing the pres­i­dent, the prime min­is­ter and two op­po­si­tion lead­ers on the same plat­form for the first time in years.

An es­ti­mated three mil­lion peo­ple, many wav­ing the Turk­ish flag, at­tended yes­ter­day af­ter­noon rally in Yenikapi square.

Ayse Kara­bat, re­port­ing from Istanbul, de­scribed the event as “the big­gest, most crowded po­lit­i­cal meet­ing, in Turk­ish po­lit­i­cal his­tory”.

As part of its anti-coup cam­paign, Ankara has been en­cour­ag­ing nightly ral­lies through­out the coun­try, cul­mi­nat­ing in yes­ter­day’s grand fi­nale.

The “Democ­racy and Mar­tyrs’ Rally” is meant to rep­re­sent the unity of the coun­try, with Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan urg­ing at­ten­dees to bring only the Turk­ish flag, in­stead of party ban­ners.

“There we will stand to­gether as a sin­gle na­tion, a sin­gle flag, a sin­gle moth­er­land, a sin­gle state, a sin­gle spirit,” he said be­fore the rally.

Around 13 000 peo­ple, in ad­di­tion to po­lice of­fi­cers, will be on duty to run the event.

He­li­copters, am­bu­lances and per­son­nel will also be on duty.

Sim­i­lar ral­lies will also be held si­mul­ta­ne­ously across the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials from ruling Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Party (AKP). The rally will be at­tended by high-level of­fi­cials. Er­do­gan, Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yildirim, who is also the leader of the AKP, as well as the main op­po­si­tion Repub­li­can Peo­ple’s Party (CHP) leader Ke­mal Kil­ic­daroglu and Na­tion­al­ist Move­ment Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli were also ex­pected to at­tend the rally.

Kil­ic­daroglu and Bahceli will ad­dress the rally be­fore hand­ing the stage to the prime min­is­ter and the pres­i­dent.

How­ever, the pro-Kur­dish Peo­ple’s Democ­racy Party’s (HDP) co-lead­ers, Se­la­hat­tin Demir­tas and Fi­gen Yuk­sekdag are not in­vited. — Al Jazeera over 700 med­i­cal

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