ISTANBUL, Turkey — At least 700,000 people marched today in a massive protest against the possible election of an observant Muslim as president, a conflict that is pitting Turkey's religiously oriented ruling party against the deeply secular military and civilian establishment.
Waving the country's red flag and singing nationalist songs, demonstrators in Istanbul demanded the resignation of the pro-Islamic government, calling Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a traitor. Erdogan's foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, is widely expected to win the presidential election by the country's 550-seat parliament.
"We don't want a covered woman in Ataturk's presidential palace," protester Ayse Bari, a 67-year-old housewife, said in reference to Gul's wife Hayrunisaah who wears the Muslim headscarf. "We want civilized, modern people there."
The election has reignited a conflict over Turkey's
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