Erdogan plans massive rally to mark Ottoman conquest of Istanbul

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning a massive rally in Istanbul on Sunday, which authorities claim will be attended by 1 million people, to mark the 563rd anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople from the Byzantine Empire.

The event will be attended also by Binali Yildirim, the new head of the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) and prime minister-designate, according to the mayor's office.

The air force will make a show of strength, doing a fly-past, and 563 people dressed in janissary costumes will perform. A 3D mapping of the city as it was in 1453 will also be presented.

Security measures are expected to be tight ahead of the event, which the government is advertising heavily, in a large-scale marketing blitz, using images of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror and pictures of the president. Erdogan last year used the anniversary, which came just ahead of a crucial election, to attack critics.

In recent weeks, he has been pushing for constitutional changes to empower his office, worrying the opposition, which fears this will erode checks and balances, amid existing accusations of growing authoritarianism.

Last update: Sun, 29/05/2016 - 15:58
Author: 

View the discussion thread.

More from World

Syria indefinitely extends Russia's use of air and naval bases

Russia and Syria have signed agreements to indefinitely prolong Russia's use of a naval base and an airbase on...

Thirty per cent of Aleppo's Old City destroyed, UNESCO says

Thirty per cent of the Old City of Aleppo has been destroyed and 60 per cent significantly damaged amid the ongoing...

Donald Trump prepares to take office, as thousands flock to Mall

Donald Trump arrived at the White House Friday as he prepares to take the oath of office and become the 45th...

Trumps arrives at White House for tea with the Obamas

US President Barack Obama greets his successor Donald Trump on the steps of the White House.

Protests and parties around the world mark Trump inauguration

Groups of demonstrators took to the streets in cities around the world on Friday to both lament and celebrate the...