Opposition CHP's rally brings Turkish parties together in Istanbul's Taksim Square

Published 24.07.2016 00:00
Updated 24.07.2016 20:18
emEPA Photo/em
EPA Photo

The bloody coup attempt launched by the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) elements nestled within the Turkish military have produced one good in all that evil, which was a common stance by all political parties against the coup.

In a historic first, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) officials and voters will attend the mass democracy rally organized by the main opposition, the Republican People's Party (CHP), following 15 years of bitter political rivalry.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu delivering a speech at the meeting (Photo by Recai Kömür)

On Friday, CHP officials announced that the meeting will be open for all political parties and groups. The same day, AK Party spokesman Yasin Aktay announced that the AK Party will attend the rally.

AK Party delegation including Deputy Parl. Speaker Ayşenur Bahçekapılı (R2), Deputy Chairman Mehmet Müezzinoğlu (R3), Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş (R5) and Province Chairman Selim Temurci walk down the Istiklal Street to attend the rally. (AA Photo)In a statement released on Sunday, the AK Party announced that Deputy Chairman Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, Deputy Parliament Speaker Ayşe Nur Bahçekapılı, Deputy Parliamentary Group Chairman Mehmet Muş, Istanbul Province Chairman Selim Temurci, Istanbul Deputy Belma Satır, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş and Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan will attend the rally.

CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was the sole speaker at the rally. Kılıçdaroğlu read a 10-point declaration titled the "Taksim Manifesto," which condemned all perpetrators of the coup attempt and its internal and external supporters. "Those detained for complicity in the coup attempt must be tried within the rule of law," he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also touched upon the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer coup plot trials launched by Gülen-linked police officers and prosecutors, which is believed to have disrupted the military assession line in Gülenists' favor. "Restoring the rights of the victims of the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer coup plot cases must be included in all political parties' agendas," Kılıçdaroğlu said.

(Photo by Recai Kömür)

Prior to the rally, CHP's Eskişehir Deputy Utku Çakırözer told broadcaster CNN Türk that the spirit of unity emerged even when the situation was very tense and that the parliament's joint statement condemning the coup was first drafted by group deputy chairmen from different parties while inside the parliament's bunker when bombs were falling.

CHP Group Deputy Chairman and Sinop Deputy Engin Altay told broadcaster NTV that the coup attempt targeted parliamentary democracy in Turkey, not just the AK Party and President Erdoğan.

A young woman wearing a headscarf seen attending to the democracy rally organized by center-left CHP. The headband reads: “Forefather, we are on your path,” a slogan generally used by secular Turks referring to Atatürk. (EPA Photo)CHP officials informed citizens that only Turkish flags and banners of the Republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk will be allowed in the rally.

On July 15, a military junta linked to FETÖ attempted to topple the democratically elected government in Turkey and put martial law in effect. The attempt was prevented by millions of Turkish people who showed up in support of democracy, as well as by military and police units loyal to the government. A total of 264 people, mostly civilians, were killed and over 2,000 people were injured. Opposition parties have united in condemning the coup attempt, denouncing the plot in the harshest terms and underscoring their determination to preserve democracy and the rule of law in Turkey.

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