Hundreds of Edmontonians of Turkish descent gathered at the Alberta Legislature Sunday to condemn an attempted coup in Turkey.
“Our country, our homeland, faced an unprecedented attack,” Sinem Senol, organizer of the event said.
On July 15, a group used tanks and helicopters in an attempt to bring down the elected government. The Turkish Canadian Society of Edmonton, which organized the rally, said a faction within Turkey’s armed forces was behind the coup. It said the faction is connected to a group the Turkish government describes as a terrorist organization.
READ MORE: Turkey issues arrest warrant for U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fathullah Gulen in failed coup
“It’s important to come together here in Canada because this specific coup was actually orchestrated by a group of people that have set up organizations all over the world, especially in the US and Canada, under the pretense of education, or intercultural faith, multiculturalism — all great values on the surface but actually hidden agendas behind closed doors,” Senol said.
Organizers of Sunday’s event say they stand united on the side of any democratically elected government.
“I may be a critic of the Turkish Government but today there is no party A or B, today there is only one Turkey,” Senol said. “When we face acts of terrorism, there is only one Turkey and Turkish people here are united for that.”
READ MORE: Massive crowds gathers for anti-coup rally in Turkey
“It is something that we want to declare to the whole world, it is something that we condemn, doesn’t matter who we are, what political party we support.”
The coup was defeated by police forces and Turkish citizens.
“This is the day where we have to forget all of these differences,” Senol said. “This is the day where we actually have to defend democracy in our country and everywhere in the world.”
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published Aug. 14, 2016. It was edited Aug. 16 to add attribution.