Turks, Muslims Unite at Democracy Rally in US Capital
About 1,000 come together in front of White House to show support for Turkey’s democracy and condemn July 15 defeated coup.
Turkish citizens living in the U.S., American citizens of Turkish origin and Muslim Americans from Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York attended the rally that began 2 p.m. local time (1800GMT), where they protested the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its leader Fetullah Gulen, the mastermind behind the failed bloody coup on July 15, according to the Turkish government.
The “Democracy against Coup” rally was organized by the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), an umbrella organization for approximately 150 Turkish-American associations.
On the sidelines of Sunday’s rally, Turkish ambassador to the U.S., Serdar Kilic told Anadolu Agency that Washington was in cooperation with Ankara over the extradition process, a concerted effort he said would be solidified with American and Turkish delegations getting ready to pay mutual visits in the coming days.
Sunday’s rally was proof of people coming together from all walks of life to show solidarity with Turkey and its democracy, Kilic said.
Sudanese American Mustafa Ayaad, 60, told Anadolu Agency he came to the rally with his family in a show of support because he believed in democracy no matter where it was, accusing the west of not showing enough solidarity for Turkey over the coup attempt.
Another Turkish-American protester who has lived in the U.S. for over 40 years, Sabiha Barzanci said she was there to support the Turkish government, urging for Gulen’s immediate extradition.
During the rally, U.S. representatives of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) read a joint memorandum to condemn the coup attempt.
Since July 15, Turkey has filed two set of documents to U.S. authorities for the extradition of Gulen, who has lived in Pennsylvania since 1999. The U.S. has said it is still reviewing the extradition request.
The defeated putsch resulted in 240 martyrs and 2,200 injured. Since then, dozens of protests across the world have been staged to show solidarity with Turkey’s democratically elected government.
Sunday’s rally was the third in Washington DC since the coup attempt.