CHP leader warns of risk of ‘provocation’ on his justice march
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has prepared a list of 12 guidelines warning participants in the party’s “justice march” from Ankara to Istanbul against any “provocations,” its Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on June 27.
Kılıçdaroğlu launched the 450-km march from the Turkish capital Ankara to Istanbul’s Maltepe prison after a court jailed CHP Istanbul deputy Enis Berberoğlu, with prosecutors demanding a 25-year sentence on espionage charges.
“We are walking for them. We are walking for justice. We are walking together. Nobody should be disturbed,” he told reporters at a highway stop in the northwestern province of Bolu on the 13th day of the march, Doğan News Agency has reported.
“Yesterday we prepared a list of 12 guidelines against provocations. We will give it to everyone participating [in the march]. We said: ‘Do not attack or use harsh language against those who protest us for any reason. Just applaud them, whatever they say.’ We should show a democratic attitude and show our belief in justice. We should show how much we value justice and how much we value people,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
CHP Deputy Group Chair Özgür Özel also touched on the risk of “provocation” just before the march started, saying the correct response would be “applause.”
“Whatever provocation comes from outside, whether it be incitement or swearing, the only answer to be given is applauding with the common slogan: ‘Rights, law, justice,’” Özel said.
Gezi Park victims’ families join march
Meanwhile, the families of those who lost their lives during the Gezi Park protests in summer 2013 were among those who accompanied Kılıçdaroğlu during his march on June 27.
The parents of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old Turkish teenager who died after entering a coma induced when he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister fired by police in Istanbul; the brother of Ethem Sarısülük, who was shot on the head by a police officer during the protests in Ankara; and the parents of Ali İsmail Korkmaz, who was beaten to death by police officers and civilians in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir, all joined the march on its 13th day.
Meanwhile, daily Cumhuriyet journalist Ali Sirmen and a number of lawyers from the bar association of the northwestern province of Düzce, dressed in their legal robes, also accompanied the CHP leader.
Kılıçdaroğlu was also seen celebrating Eid-al-Fitr with locals by the side of the road waiting for the cortege’s arrival and supporting the party chairman. In response to a group who was gathered to protest his march, the CHP head was simply seen applauding them.
According to a decision taken by the CHP, 25 party deputies have taken on the task of steering and directing participants of the march and maintaining security, positioning themselves at intervals of 50 meters from one another.