1.2 Million Turks Hold Pro-Secular Demonstration

IZMIR (Combined Sources)–More than one million pro-secular Turks rallied in the Aegean city of Izmir yesterday, keeping up strong pressure on the Islamist-rooted government after political turmoil forced early elections in July, Turkish media reported. Demonstrators packed a seafront square in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city, brandishing Turkish flags and portraits of the country’s secularist founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Hundreds showed their support from the sea, sailing along the coast in boats. Others shouted from rooftops and balconies over roads clogged with buses carrying people from out of town. "Turkey is secular, it will remain secular," protestors shouted, adopting the most popular chant from mass demonstrations held also in the capital Ankara and Manisa in the west. "We will not surrender the country to reactionary forces," one man’shouted. Banners read, "Unite against bigotry,"We follow Ataturk’s path."

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