ISTANBUL - Hundreds of thousands of Turks are expected at a rally in Istanbul on Sunday summoned by President Tayyip Erdogan to denounce a failed coup, a show of strength staged in the face of Western criticism of widespread purges and detentions.
The "Democracy and Martyrs' Rally" at the Yenikapi parade ground, built into the sea on the southern edge of Istanbul's historic peninsula, caps three weeks of nightly demonstrations by Erdogan's supporters, many wrapped in the red Turkish flag, in squares around the country.Erdogan has vowed to rid Turkey of the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers in the security forces, judiciary and civil service he accuses of orchestrating the attempted power grab and of plotting to overthrow the state.
The cleric, an ally of Erdogan during the early years after his AK Party was elected to power in 2002, has denounced the coup and denied the charges.
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