Thousands of Turks gathered together in the capital Ankara on Saturday, to protest the Islamist AKP for undermining the country's secular system. The police say some 20,000 people attend the rally in Tandogan Square of Ankara. (UPDATED)
Turkish ANKA news agency reported The National Solidarity Platform, an umbrella group of some 500 NGOs, visited the first building of the Turkish assembly when it was opened in 1920. The rally started at 11.00 a.m. (GMT 0800).
Selda Talay Tosun, a spokesperson of the platform, said on Saturday their mission is to enhance Turkey without leaving the path of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkey.
Turkish NGOs held similary rallies last year to protest former AKP executive Abdullah Gul's presidential candidacy. The theme of the demonstrations was "No Sharia, No Army." The biggest of such rallies was organized in Istanbul and around 1 million people had attended.
Demonstrators carry anti-government banners, red-and-white Turkish flags and pictures of Ataturk. The protest Saturday follows moves by Turkey’s chief prosecutor to close down Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s governing party, on charges that it became the focal point of anti-secular activities.
The Constitutional Court has agreed to hear the case, which could take several months.