‘We are all from Khojaly’ rally in Istanbul draws nearly 200,000 - PHOTOS

Sun 26 February 2012 14:00 GMT | 14:00 Local Time

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Thousands of people rallied in the centre of Istanbul on Sunday to declare solidarity with the victims of the Khojaly massacre.

18:05

The host of the action dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide, Cizis Eden, announced that nearly 200,000 people had attended the rally.

18:00

The rally in Istanbul’s Taksim Square ended with an appearance by Azerbaijani singer Brilliant Dadashova.

She sang the well-known song “Sari Gelin” and then told the rally that the Azerbaijani and Turkish nations had never committed genocide against anyone.

“Today’s action demonstrated how civilized the Turks and Azerbaijanis are.”

17:54

Zarifa Guliyeva, 20, born in Khojaly, addressed the rally. She said that she had written about the massacre in her recent letter to the French and Armenian presidents asking them to restore justice.

“The Khojaly genocide happened and Khojaly justice should be restored,” she said.

17:48

Speaking to the event, Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Shahin stated that "we don’t have any history or past to be ashamed of either in Azerbaijan or the world".

He noted that Turks lived with dignity and honour in Asia, Europe and all over the world and it was an honorably nation which built strong states.

“This is the nation that should be considered the pride of earth with its language, religion, culture and traditions.

The Turkish nation always opposed the tyrants and supported the oppressed. We as the Turkish nation don’t have any history or past to be ashamed of either in Azerbaijan, Balkans or any other spots of the world.

The Turkish nation has always preserved its existence and rights and power as a supporter of justice. And our biggest power is the equality and unity.”

17:14

According to figures announced by the participants of the action, over 100,000 people have attended the rally. During the action, the memory of Khojaly victims was commemorated with a minute silence.

Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Shahin has just spoked to the event.

16:55

The action in Taksim square began with the national anthems of Turkey and Azerbaijan. And then, singer Azerin performed “Chirpinirdi Gara Deniz” (The Black Sea was beating) song.

15:38

According to sources in Turkey, ten thousands of people joined the action in the Taksim square.

Participants of the action from 35 cities urged the world community to give a fair assessment to this tragedy. The flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan were handed free to all participants.

Posters are spread in all underground stations, buses, metrobus stations working on the central lines.

Dozens of youth and students organizations, public unions, Turkish organizations and movements functioning in Turkey support the action.

Azerbaijani MPs, media and NGO representatives participate at the event.

The rally is lead by five mothers of martyrs died in Khojaly.

The action also involves people from Germany, Belgium, France and other countries, as well as citizens of over 50 cities and towns of Turkey.

The city police has proceeded to intensified work and increased security due to the event. The security measures were brought to the maximum level in Taksim square.

The police are controlling the public order from the ground and from air with helicopters.

Conferences were held in different cities of Turkey at the preparation stage of the action, discussions were held at the universities, information booklets were distributed to people in the streets.

Moreover, the International Forum of Azerbaijani Students and Alumni Abroad-ASAIF held an exhibition of photos and paintings within the framework of the campaign ‘Justice for Khojaly’ with the support of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum.

News.Az

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