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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
In pictures: Turkey mass rally

Turkish flag at Istanbul rally

Hundreds of thousands of people have marched in Istanbul in defence of Turkey's secular system of government.

Woman holds up flag amid protesters

The demonstration was prompted by a row over the ruling party's candidate for Turkey's president, amid fears of a drift towards Islamist influence.

Man with Turkish flag and Ataturk portrait

Turkey is a Muslim-majority country, but has been officially secular since Kemal Ataturk founded the republic in 1923.

Sign held up saying "Goodbye Gul"

One sign called for the candidate, Abdullah Gul, to stand down unless he distanced himself from his Islamic roots. The sign reads Goodbye Gul.

Many Turkish flags held up

The police said as many as one million people took part in the demonstration.

Man holds up portrait of Ataturk

Turkey's powerful military has already warned that any candidate must ensure a secular state.

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