Minute of silence observed at democracy rally

Minute of silence honors victims of July 15 foiled coup at rally, which is being attended by people from all walks of life

Minute of silence observed at democracy rally

World Bulletin / News Desk

A minute of silence in honor of victims of the July 15 foiled coup marked the opening of the massive "Democracy and Martyrs’ Rally" in Istanbul Sunday.

The Turkish national anthem was played after the minute of silence, which was then followed by the recitation of the holy Quran.

Leaders of Turkey’s three main political parties, including the Justice and Development (AK) Party, Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are attending the rally together, which is a historic first in the country.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who is also AK Party chairman, has been joined by CHP Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu and MHP leader Devlet Bahceli to protest against the defeated coup that left 240 people martyred and 2,200 others injured.

The political party leaders also addressed the millions of people attending the rally, which had been called by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul's Yenikapi square. Erdogan is also expected to address the huge crowds along with Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman.

The Yenikapi event marks the end of weeks of “democracy watch” rallies held in cities across the country since the coup bid.

Turkey's government has repeatedly said the coup was organized by followers of Fetullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999.

Gulen is accused of leading a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.

Erdogan repeatedly said that he saw no difference between extremist groups such as the PKK, PYD, YPG, and ISIL and U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen's FETO.

Last Mod: 08 Ağustos 2016, 09:48
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