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 for the first time attending a rally together 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 at the massive “Democracy and Martyrs’ Rally” to protest against the July 15 coup attempt in the country that left 240 people martyred and 2,200 others injured.
The political party leaders will address the millions of people attending the rally, which had been called by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul’s Yenikapi square.
The Yenikapi event will mark the end of weeks of “democracy watch” rallies held in cities across the country since the defeated coup, which martyred 240 people and wounded nearly 2,200 more.
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 terrorist groups such as the PKK, PYD, YPG, and Daesh and U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen’s FETO.