Nothing can hold them back. On Tuesday evening, several thousand demonstrators marched through Istanbul, a diverse group including students, pensioners, women in headscarves and punks, and many of them held up signs as they walked: "No to the presidency!" Erdogan!" And: "This is just the beginning. The protests began on Sunday, just a few hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in the referendum that grants him significantly expanded powers and the demonstrations have become larger on each successive day since then, spreading to more than three dozen cities. People in Ankara and Izmir, in Adana and Mersin, in Edirne and Canakkale have taken to the streets in opposition to Erdogan, accusing him of having manipulated the vote on the constitutional referendum. According to media reports, the country's electoral commission accepted up to 2.5 million ballots despite their not having been stamped in accordance with the rules.
Istanbul, a city of 14 million people and a crossroads of cultural exchange dating back millennia, may also be where Turkey's next major earthquake strikes. Cities along the North Anatolian Fault, which stretches from eastern Turkey to the Aegean Sea, have experienced an advancing series of strong quakes during the past 80 years, beginning in 1939 when a devastating 7.8-magnitude rupture leveled the city of Erzincan and killed 33,000 people. Most recently, in 1999, 7.4-magnitude quake near the city of İzmit left 17,000 dead and half a million homeless. A few months later, another shock hit Düzce, 60 miles away.
Turkish police have detained hundreds of suspected ISIL members in nationwide raids, according to state media, in the biggest roundup to target the armed group in Turkey. More than 400 suspects, most of them foreign nationals, were arrested during operations conducted in at least 18 provinces, Anadolu news agency reported on Sunday. At least 60 people were detained in the capital, Ankara, while 150 were arrested in Sanliurfa in the southeast and a further 47 in the nearby city of Gaziantep close to the Syrian border. In the Aegean province of Izmir, security forces also held at least nine suspected ISIL members who were allegedly preparing for an attack. Another 18 people were detained in Istanbul and the neighbouring province of Kocaeli on suspicion of planning attacks.
Turkish police detained 28 people Saturday over allegations of funding the movement of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a foe of President Tayyip Erdo?an, the privately owned Dogan News Agency reported. The investigation included the head of prominent business confederation Tuskon, and financial police were searching for 23 other people in Istanbul and southern provinces of Konya, Kayseri and Mugla, the agency said. Turkish police were not immediately available for comment. The raids were the latest police operations targeting thousands of supporters of the U.S.-based cleric, accused of leading what authorities describe as a "Gulenist Terror Group" trying to overthrow Erdo?an. Gulen and Erdo?an were allies until police and prosecutors seen as sympathetic to Gulen opened a graft investigation into Erdo?an's inner circle in 2013.