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Thousands of secular supporters rally in Istanbul

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Thousands of secular supporters rally in Istanbul


In Turkey, thousands of people are gathering in Istanbul in defence of the country’s secular system. It comes amid a growing political crisis over the future of the presidency. Secularists believe the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party’s candidate, Abdullah Gul, would chip away at the secular state system if he wins. The foreign minister narrowly lost in the first round of the election in parliament on Friday.

The EU has warned the military, which has ousted four governments in the past 50 years, not to intervene after it threatened to defend the secular system which separates the state from religion. A similar rally in the capital Ankara two weeks ago attracted an estimated half a million people on to the streets.

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