Erdogan Rally in Istanbul

On Sunday, August 7, 2016 there was a mass rally staged by President Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey.  The “Democracy and Martyrs’ Rally” was a show of support for his administration after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.  The rally was held at the Yenikapi parade ground located on Istanbul’s Sea of Marmara coastline.  This is a relatively new man made land mass and does not yet appear in Apple Maps satellite imagery of this area.  I was, however, able to find it on maphill.com.  This new man made land mass presents a challenge when trying to confirm the “ more than one million people” crowd size that was reported or the “five million” crowd size reported by a government official.  The CrowdSize app uses Apple Maps satellite imagery to present areas for crowd estimating.  However, by combining what we see in Apple Maps with what we found on maphill.com, we are able to establish the area for this study.
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To estimate crowd sizes, we must have photographs that show the perimeter of the crowd.  Below are two studies of the size of this rally.  The first shows the size of a crowd if the entire area of the Yenikapi parade ground and Kennedy Street were filled with people standing shoulder to shoulder.  It is indeed possible to accommodate 1.8 million people in this area.  The second study shows the size of the crowd that we see in the photographs of the event provided by the media.  What we see in the media images is a crowd in a rectangular arrangement flanked by fabric structures lining both sides with an area on the south side of the crowd that is an unoccupied green space.  A crowd within this area, the entire length of the Yenikapi parade ground, would be approximately 700,000 in size.  If there were 300,000 people beyond the range of the cameras, something difficult to imagine, the total could possibly reach 1 million people.  The “official sources” report of five million people at the event is not realistic.
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Erdogan Rally

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maphill Istanbul

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Yenikapi Site Study 1

Yenikapi Site Study 2

Individuals with an iPhone and the CrowdSize application can decide for themselves, especially while they are at an event, the size of the crowd they see.  The amount of popular support for the causes we are passionate about must not be the subject of biased reporting.

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