Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party gather during a rally in the Maltepe district of Istanbul. AFP / YASIN AKGUL
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The leader of Turkey's main opposition party completed his 25-day "March for Justice" from the capital Ankara to Istanbul Sunday and joined hundreds of thousands of supporters at a rally protesting a large-scale government crackdown on opponents. Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu launched the 450-kilometer march after a parliamentarian from his party was imprisoned in June. The march grew into a protest of the massive crackdown on people with alleged links to terror groups that began after a coup attempt last summer.The rally is by far the biggest by the opposition seen in Istanbul since the mass May-June 2013 demonstrations against Erdogan's rule sparked by the planned redevelopment of Gezi Park in the city.Usually, only Erdogan himself can mobilize crowds on this scale with glitzy rallies, and the president himself had in the past held mass meetings for supporters in the Maltepe meeting area.Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said 15,000 police officers were providing security at the postmarch rally.
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