Turkey Ruling, Opposition Parties Rally Together After Coup

5794e7b767b0a9271c6ac42fThe leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, said that after last week’s failed coup attempt, the state needed to be restructured and also needed to stick to rule of law regarding the proceedings of the perpetrators.

Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkey’s ruling and main opposition parties, usually bitter foes, rallied together on Sunday in support of democracy following a failed military coup as President Tayyip Erdogan tightens his grip on the country.

Demonstrators held a cross-party “Republic and Democracy” rally in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square in a spirit of unity following the failed coup, in which at least 246 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured.

In a rare move, pro-government channels broadcast a live speech from the podium by main opposition leader Kemal Kiliçdaroğlu.

“This is a day to unite, a day to stand up against coups and dictatorial regimes, a day to let the voice of the people be heard,” he said at the rally, organised by his secularist opposition CHP but also backed by the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party and by other opposition groups.

“We are all together in Taksim today. Today is a day we made history all together.”

e schools, charities and foundations with suspected links to Gulen, who denies involvement in the coup.

The CHP and other political parties swiftly joined AKP in condemning the coup attempt, mindful of four other military interventions in Turkey in the past 60 years. The last full-scale coup in 1980 led to mass arrests of politicians and others, torture and executions.

Taksim Square, like much of Istanbul and other cities, is awash with Turkish flags and CHP supporters were also carrying pictures of their hero Kemal Atatürk, the soldier who founded the secular republic on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923.

Opposition parties have mixed backing for purging coup supporters with calls for reconciliation and restraint.

“Turkey should completely be purified from the rule of the putsch,” said a “Taksim Declaration” issued by the CHP’s Kilicdaroğlu. “The state should not be governed by anger and revenge. The culprits of the putsch should be tried lawfully with the understanding of abiding by the rule of law,” it added.