Engineers in Turkey refute governor's claim on attendance to Justice March rally being 175K

Governor of Turkey’s İstanbul, Vasip Şahin, caused arguments to spark over the number of people who attended the grand Justice March rally held on Sunday (July 9).

In a statement released earlier on Monday (July 10), Governor Şahin said ‘the reports claimed to have been received from İstanbul’s police department with regards to the attendance to the rally in Maltepe being over 2 millions did not reflect the reality.’

“As a result of examinations and computations done taking into calculation the surface area of the meeting site, a conclusion has been reached that the number of attendees were around 175K people”, the statement concluded.

While the public reaction to the Governor’s claims grew rapidly on social media, experts from Chamber of Topographical Engineers also released a statement, explaining at least 1.5 million were at the meeting site in Maltepe yesterday.

“The meeting site has a surface area of around 275000 meter square. Moreover, there were people also in the areas that were closed to traffic, which was around 100000 meter square. So, our people gathered in an area totaling up to 375000 meter square. In calculating attendance, it is generally estimated that between 3 to 6 people stand per 1 meter square. Therefore, we can say that at least 1.5 million people attended the Justice March rally”.

Turkey’s OdaTv also shared a video of President Erdoğan where he had previously mentioned that he meeting area in Maltepe had a capacity to hold 2 million people.

On Sunday (July 10), the meeting site in Maltepe and its surrounding roads were completely packed with people who gathered to greet and meet with the main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and thousands of other marchers, who had walked from Ankara to İstanbul to protest the unlawful policies of the current government and to demand justice in the country.