“Why are we here today? Because we respect the will of the people,” Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said amid a sea of Turkish flags and demonstrators from across the U.S. who were clad in Turkish apparel.
The Turkish government said the failed coup was organized by followers of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the government through supporters within the Turkish state, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Secretary General of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, Oussama Jamal, said that the coup attempt “was the beginning of turning the entire region into chaos.”
“Thanks to the Turkish people, to the honorable men and women who went out to the streets to protect the Turkish democracy,” he said.
At least 164 people lost their lives fighting against Friday’s attempted coup in Turkey’s capital Ankara as well as Istanbul, according to preliminary reports as analyzed by Anadolu Agency.
Some 2,839 military personnel involved in the coup attempt have been arrested, and 20 pro-coup soldiers, including some senior officers, were killed in the attempt to overthrow the government.