Thousands of Turks rally in solidarity with Erdogan

Thousands of Turks rally in solidarity with Erdogan

Thousands of Turks rally in solidarity with Erdogan

Written by Staff Writer

18 Jul, 2016 | 6:31 am

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s supporters rallied in public squares, at Istanbul airport and outside his palace overnight Sunday into Monday (July 17-18) in a show of defiance after a failed coup attempt killed at least 265 people and raised expectations of a heavy crackdown on dissent.

Rebel soldiers used tanks, attack helicopters and fighter jets to try to topple Erdogan on Friday night (July 15), strafing parliament and the intelligence headquarters in Ankara while seizing a bridge and surrounding the airport in Istanbul.

The authorities rounded up nearly 3,000 suspected military plotters, including top commanders and foot soldiers, on Saturday (July 16) and ordered thousands of judges detained after forces loyal to Erdogan crushed the attempted coup.

Erdogan supporters waving Turkish flags thronged the central Taksim square in Istanbul on Sunday evening — scene of mass anti-government protests three years ago — and a smaller crowd gathered outside the gates of the his vast presidential palace complex in the capital Ankara.

Erdogan was expected at the Ankara rally but did not appear and the gathering was addressed by the minister of agriculture, Faruk Celik.

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