Turks protest against gov't in 2 western cities

More than 10,000 Turks gathered in two western cities Saturday to protest the Islamic-rooted government, calling for Turkey's secular system to be preserved. The protests in Canakkale and Manisa, two cities near Turkey's Aegean coast, follow massive pro-secular demonstrations in Ankara and Istanbul that were attended by more than a million people. The protesters Saturday carried Turkish flags and posters of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey's founder who insisted on a separation of religion and state in this 99 percent Muslim country. Police in Manisa estimated that more than 10,000 people were present at the demonstration. Police reinforcements were sent to Manisa from the large port city of Izmir, where a similar demonstration is scheduled for May 13.