Turkey: Thousands protest Israel's Gaza offensive

June 30, 2006 15:55

Thousands of angry Turks burned Israeli flags and chanted pro-Hamas slogans Friday in a protest against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of women, many wearing black chadors or Islamic-style head scarves, carried Palestinian flags and yelled, "Murderer Israel, get out of Palestine!" A man with a loud speaker warned the Jewish state that it was turning Turkey's 70 million Muslims against it. "Inshallah (God willing), all of Turkey will show in coming days that it is behind Palestine!" he said. "Inshallah!" the crowd yelled back. As protesters streamed out of the Beyazid Mosque after prayers and began to fill the square, police said they estimated 5,000 people had shown up. Later, they downgraded that estimate to 2,000.

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