Hundreds of thousands of pro-secular supporters gathered in Turkey’s third largest city to protest against the Islamist–rooted government they fear is working to increase the influence on society of Islamic fundamentalism. Organizers of the protest estimated there were over 1 and a half million people who wore red garments to display their anger at Islamic fundamentalism. Dozens of boats were in the sea port with protestors. The rally followed similar demonstrations last month in Ankara and Istanbul. As one protestor said, “These rallies have been useful in forcing the government to take a step back. The danger is still not over.”
Buildings and streets were covered in a sea of red Turkish flags as marchers chanted, “Turkey is secular and will remain secular. No to ‘sharia'” (Islamic law). The central issue is whether or not Prime Minister Erdogan is going to hear the voice of at least 40% of his population which is stating quite clearly their opposition to religious domination over their lives.
Information from The Turkish Daily News