Thousands of secular Turks protest government

May 26, 2007 10:55

Thousands of flag-waving secular Turks demonstrated in a western city on Saturday in the latest of a series of nationwide rallies against the pro-Islamic government they fear is taking steps to dilute the Western lifestyle of many Turks. The protest in Denizli follows massive demonstrations in Turkey's four largest cities, Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Samsun, and comes before July 22 general elections which will pit Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted party against the secular opposition. "Turkey is secular and will remain secular!" the demonstrators chanted in Denizli, where police took intense security measures amid a surge of attacks by separatist Kurdish guerrillas across the country.

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