Turks rally to protect Ataturk's legacy

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Tens of thousands of Turks, waving national flags and chanting slogans, rallied in the capital Ankara on Saturday to voice their determinations to protect the secular republic...

Carrying a two-km-long Turkish flag, the participants shouted " Turkey is secular and will remain secular forever."

The rally came amid widespread concerns that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will run for president in May.

The country's secularists fear that if Erdogan becomes the next president of the secular Muslim country, his ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) will be able to implement an Islamic agenda without opposition.

Turkey's parliament, which is dominated by lawmakers from Erdogan's party, will elect a successor next month to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, a staunchly pro-secular president, whose seven-year-term will expire on May 16.

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