Ruling AKP to join main opposition CHP’s anti-coup rally in Istanbul
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has decided to join the anti-coup rally to be held by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Istanbul on July 24, a senior party official has said.
“We have received an invitation from the CHP for their Taksim meeting. We thank them very, very much. We’ll join the meeting. Because this is no longer an issue of just one political party,” Yasin Aktay, deputy leader and spokesman of the AKP told reporters late on July 21 after a party meeting.
The CHP is set to hold a massive rally on July 24 in Istanbul’s Taksim Square to protest the July 15 military coup attempt, which resulted in more than 246 dead and more than 1,500 injured.
All political parties have expressed unity and solidarity against the junta that bombed Turkey’s key institutions and opened fire on civilians, and the AKP’s acceptance of joining the CHP’s rally is yet another example of this political unity.
Aktay stressed that AKP officials are working to ensure no opposition parties are attacked or targeted in ongoing anti-coup demonstrations.
“On the contrary, we’re trying to turn these rallies into an opportunity for national unity and a mutually celebrated democracy festival,” he said.
The AKP will send lawmakers and a deputy leader to the CHP’s rally in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, Aktay added.
The Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel Company (İETT) decided to extend the period of free public transportation in the city, which started after the failed coup attempt upon a call from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for people to take to the streets in protest, for two more days. Public transportation will be free until July 24.