İstanbul Governor’s Office puts number of ‘Justice Rally’ participants at 175,000

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Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) gather during a rally in the Maltepe district of Istanbul on July 9, 2017, marking the end of a 450-kilometre (280 mile) "justice march" from Ankara to Istanbul. The rally marks the end of a 450-kilometre (280 mile) "justice march" from Ankara to Istanbul by Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who launched an unprecedented trek on June 15 in protest the arrest of one of his MPs. / AFP PHOTO / YASIN AKGUL

Although the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has announced that the number of attendees at a Justice Rally organized by the party in İstanbul’s Maltepe district on Sunday was 1.6 million, the İstanbul Governor’s Office has given a much lower figure, saying that only 175,000 people attended the rally.

The CHP organized the rally at the end of a March of Justice launched by CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on June 15 from Ankara to İstanbul in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.

A large number of people attended the rally; however, conflicting figures were cited regarding the number of participants.

In a statement on Sunday CHP deputy group chairman Özgür Özel said 1.6 million people attended the rally, but a statement issued by the İstanbul Governor’s Office later on Sunday said the number of attendees was 175,000. The governor’s office based its finding on the measurement of the venue’s surface area.

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