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Hundreds Of Thousands Of People March In Istanbul Antigovernment Rally


A demonstration organized by the opposition party draws hundreds of thousands in Istanbul.

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators arrived in Istanbul at the conclusion of a 25-day, 450-kilometer pro-democracy march, with protesters demanding an end to the state of emergency in Turkey.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the opposition People's Republican Party (CHP), arrived on July 9 in the Maltepe quarter of the city after his trek from Ankara, telling demonstrators that “we walked for justice that does not exist."

Kilicdaroglu and other leaders of the CHP said some 1.6 million people attended the rally, although the numbers could not be officially confirmed.

CNN Turk reported that some 15,000 police were deployed to deal with the mass demonstration.

Demonstrators demanded the end to the state of emergency imposed after the failed antigovernment coup of July 2016 and for a reversal of the purge of thousands or civil servants, police, military, and other workers.

An estimated 40,000 people have been jailed in the crackdown following the failed coup.

"We walked for the civil servants fired unjustly by decree...We walked because we are against the one-man regime," Kilicdaroglu said, referring to the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"We live in an era of oppression," Kilicdaroglu added.

The rally was the biggest by the opposition since the May-June 2013 demonstrations against Erdogan.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP and Reuters
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