Istanbul is all set to play host to millions of people at a public rally against last month’s failed putsch and in support of democracy in the country.
Sunday's 'Democracy and Martyrs Rally' will be a significant milestone in Turkey’s political history, as both the ruling and main opposition parties will stand together for the very first time on the same platform for the same reasons.
Around 3.5 million people are expected to turn up at Yenikepi Square at 6pm on Sunday where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildrim and the leaders of the country’s main opposition parties.
“Let’s be there with the leaders and give our message to all of Turkey from there together,” Erdogan had said earlier.
Responding to the President's call, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkey’s main opposition party (Republican People’s Party or CHP), confirmed on Friday his presence at tomorrow’s rally.
Kilicdaroglu had initially turned down the invitation, saying his party’s vice chair and deputies would be there. On Friday, however, he changed his mind and confirmed his participation in person.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) hailed the decision of Kilicdaroglu to take part in the rally.
Leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, gave his nod to the invitation through a Twitter message which read, “I will be with the poeple in Yenikapi upon the invitation I received as the leader of MHP.”
Turkey’s third biggest party, People’s Democratic Party (HDP), was not invited to the rally as the government believes it allegedly supports PKK terrorists.
The mass rally was billed by Erdogan as an event that would attract participation from citizens, political leaders, top military officers, musicians, and athletes.
Helicopters, ambulances and over 700 medical personnel will be on hand as well.