Thousands gather on Bosphorus Bridge against coup attempt

A large number of people from every walk of life gathered at the Bosphorus Bridge chanting "We are at the place where it all began".

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Pro-government demonstrators march over the Bosphorus Bridge, from the Asian to the European side of Istanbul, Turkey, July 21, 2016

Thousands gathered on the Bosphorus Bridge to show solidarity with democracy on Thursday night.

Around 10pm, young men, women and families waving flags walked towards the bridge chanting "we are at the place where it all began!" referring to the resistance against the attempted coup on July 15th.

ilyas Kaymaz, showing solidarity with democracy, at Bosphorus Bridge

At least 246 people, mostly civilians, died in the clashes due to heavy firing by rogue elements of the army. Over 1500 were wounded in the failed coup attempt.

For the past week, thousands of people have been coming out on the streets in major cities across the country to converge around key monuments and squares in a show of solidarity with the government and to express anger against the attempted coup. 

Since the attempted coup was suppressed, crowds have been encouraged by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to to take to the streets. Public transportation has been free since the night of the failed coup.

People from every walk of life have been participating in the peaceful gatherings to show their determination for the survival of democratic rule.

Young men dominated the rally in support of democracy.

The Bosphorous Bridge was closed to traffic for a brief time because of the gathering and a number of the participants made their way towards Taksim square to join anti-coup celebrations.

Muharram, 23, managed to reach at the Bosporus bridge with his friends after a three and half hour walk, “Our love with our country brought us here,” he said, while introducing his friends, who are students in different universities of Istanbul.

Mehmet Yavuz and Semih Asci are best friends and they decided to join those celebrating civilian supremacy over the armed forces, "since this democratic set up belonged to us we decided to own this through our actions," they told TRT World.

Two other participants at the rally Ferdi Koseoglu and Emre Koseoglu are brothers whose family is celebrating the failed coup and told TRT World that their parents encouraged them to participate in the gathering at the bridge to extend their support for democracy.

Tens and thousands come out in support of democracy

President Erdogan also sent out an SMS to millions of mobile phone users across the nation asking them to “look after your nation and your people”. The message read, “I am calling you to the streets against this action of a narrow cadre that has fallen against the Turkish nation. Claim the state, claim the nation."

Zahid Sayin is a vendor who says he's here to see a better future for his country, "no one here is in favor of anti-democratic rule in the country."

Zahid Sayin, a vendor, takes part in the rally at the Bosphorous Bridge celebrating the failure of the attempted coup.

Two teachers at Istanbul University were also among the participants. They said that it was first time in the history of the country that people defeated coup conspirators. They said, "we teach rule of law to students at our institution and how is it possible to keep away from gathering supporting the rule of law in the country."

Author: Azam Khan