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Thousands Protest in Turkey Against COVID-19 Vaccine Passports

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Thousands of people gathered in the Maltepe district of Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, on Saturday to protest against COVID-19-related restrictions, including vaccine mandates, saying the restrictions infringe on their rights. Nearly 3,000 people attended the rally, which was permitted by the governor’s office and started at 2 p.m. local time, Turkish news agency Diken reported. Demonstrators organized the protest in the wake of new measures that passed government and will go into effect starting Sept. 13—requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for all users of intercity planes, buses, and trains, as well as for those attending large events such as concerts or theater performances. According to videos and photos of the rally, a large crowd of people listened to speakers while holding placards that read: “The Turkish people will not become vaccine guinea pigs,” “Freedom is not free. We are ready to pay for it,” “My …

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