The rally was organised by the opposition party CHP but was backed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK party, in a rare show of unity.
Amid a sea of red flags, banners bore slogans such as "We defend the republic!"
The CHP's leader said "democracy won!" but he also warned against the dangers of authoritarianism.
One banner read: "No to the coup, no to dictatorship".
Many of the CHP supporters gathered in Taksim Square waved flags with a picture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
Despite Turkey's political divisions, Istanbul's mayor and other AK party leaders joined the opposition demonstrators.
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