Turks stage secular rally in Black Sea port city

May 20, 2007 11:55


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Thousands of Turks demonstrated in this Black Sea port city on Sunday against the Islamic-rooted government, which they fear is undermining Turkey's secular system. The demonstration in Samsun - the latest in a series of protests nationwide - was significant, as the city was where Turkey's secular founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, launched the country's war of independence against occupying powers after World War I. Massive demonstrations against the government recently have been held in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir. On Sunday, crowds gathered in Samsun's central square and chanted "Turkey is secular and will remain secular!" Protesters carried Turkish flags and posters of Ataturk.

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