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Thousands of Turks Stage Pro-Secular Rally

Thousands of Turks rallied Saturday in the western city of Denizli against the country's pro-Islamic government.

Demonstrators chanted "Turkey is secular and will remain secular." It was the latest in a series of nationwide protests. Pro-secular demonstrations also have been held in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Samsun.

Protesters accuse the ruling AK party of attempting to undermine the nation's secular order.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed support for the country's secular laws, but his opponents say he has a secret agenda. His AK party pushed through political reforms after parliament failed to elect the party's candidate for president, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

Mr. Erdogan called for early parliamentary elections on July 22 because of the political deadlock.

Turkey's main opposition party, the pro-secular Republican People's Party, and the left-wing Democratic Left Party have formed an alliance to contest the elections.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.