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Spirits high as Turks camp out on streets for democracy

ANKARA: The Turkish public continues to rally for democracy 13 days after a Gülen-linked coup attempt was foiled, camping out in high spirits on the nation’s streets and squares in a sign of unity for democracy. Grabbing their flags at night, thousands of people have continued to fill the main squares of every city each...

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 29, 2016 | Last Updated: 5 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jul 29, 2016 | Last Updated: 5 years ago

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ANKARA: The Turkish public continues to rally for democracy 13 days after a Gülen-linked coup attempt was foiled, camping out in high spirits on the nation’s streets and squares in a sign of unity for democracy.

Grabbing their flags at night, thousands of people have continued to fill the main squares of every city each night since the attempted coup by a Gülenist junta on July 15. The rallies for democracy are in response to calls by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım “to claim the streets” against coup plotters.

Although the coup threat seems to have largely dissipated, after almost all involved in the putsch were detained and arrested, and a nationwide purge has weeded out Gülenists from many institutions, people remain vigilant for any future coup attempts. The rallies will likely continue until the country’s leaders call for the public to end them.

Most people prefer to stay on the streets throughout the night and go to work in the morning. Families join these “democracy watches” with their young children and sleep on benches or rugs which they spread in the parks.

Sultan and Hakkı Görgülü have been accompanied by their 3-year-old daughter Yağmur at a democracy rally at Istanbul’s Taksim Square, one of the most crowded areas for these watches. They have been attending the rallies for six days, and vow to remain there until President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “calls for them to stop.” Speaking to Sabah, Hakkı Görgülü said they are in the square “to protect the country.”

The family spent a night in front of Erdoğan’s residence in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district, another central location for democracy rallies, and then moved to Taksim. They slept on cardboard at a park near to the square after the rallies. Selçuk Bayraktar, the lead engineer behind the Turkish army’s first domestic-made unmanned aerial vehicles, and President Erdoğan’s son-in-law, was among those who addressed a crowd in Üsküdar on Wednesday night. Bayraktar said those behind the coup were the same enemies who tried to crush Turkey in World War I, and that they were doomed to defeat. – (dailysabah.com)

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