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Under pressure, pro-Kurdish party holds democracy rally in Istanbul

Despite a ban on protests, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party held a demonstration in Istanbul Thursday following removal of two deputies from Turkey’s parliament.
A supporter of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) holds placards during a gathering as part of their "Democracy March", in Istanbul, Turkey June 18, 2020. The placards read that: "All together for democracy, freedom, peace, justice". REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC2UBH9CTB9E

ISTANBUL — Police in riot gear looked on as several hundred supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) gathered in Istanbul’s Besiktas district Thursday for a demonstration against ongoing state pressure on the party.

Surrounded by armored vehicles and trucks mounted with water cannons, speakers condemned the removal of two HDP deputies from parliament earlier this month, flouting a ban on demonstrations issued by the Istanbul governor’s office Monday.

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