Ankara, July 25 (IANS) Tens of thousands of Turks on Sunday flocked a rally in Istanbul organised by the main opposition which was also joined by the ruling party to say “no” to the failed coup attempt a week ago.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) decided to be present for the rally held by the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Taksim Square at the heart of Istanbul, on the grounds that it is no longer the issue for one political party to denounce the coup attempt, Xinhua news agency reported.
AKP’s representatives and supporters joined the massive rally, which drew unions, leftist and LGTBI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) groups.
Many more Turks poured into the square by responding to calls on social media for “shoulder to shoulder” acts.
“Neither autocracy nor coup, democratic Turkey!” read a red-and-white giant banner hanging over the square.
CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu called for “unity and solidarity” against all kinds of coup attempts targeting the parliamentarian system.
“We strongly condemn and curse all the perpetrators of the coup attempt and its internal and foreign supporters,” he said.
Extreme security measures were taken across the area by thousands of police officers, with bomb squad teams having scanned the square with trained dogs hours before the start of the rally and people passing through several security check points.
Since July 15, Turks have been flocking to squares every evening to “protect democracy,” as being called for by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On Wednesday night, Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency nationwide.