The Republican People’s Party (CHP) is prepared to carry out more street protests following the 25-day justice march, said its chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
on July 17. Kılıçdaroğlu also rejected President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
calling his walk from Ankara
to Istanbul a “terrorist march.”
“I am not afraid. There is a serious lack of democracy in this country [and] someone needs to take a stand against it. Our main goal now is to drag Erdoğan down from his palace. We are determined to do this,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with The Times.
Kılıçdaroğlu began his justice march on June 15 from Ankara
to Istanbul in protest of the arrest of the prominent CHP
MP Enis Berberoğlu on charges of espionage. Accompanied by thousands of people, Kılıçdaroğlu concluded his march on July 9 in a massive rally in Istanbul with the participation of around one million people. Kılıçdaroğlu had vowed that their protests would continue in his address during the rally.
Two days before Kılıçdaroğlu’s statements, Turkey marked the first anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt, commemorated by millions of people across Turkey mainly under the domain of President Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Erdoğan has frequently accused the CHP
leader of carrying out his justice march in support of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) who is blamed for the coup.
“We are against the July 15 coup attempt. We call it the people’s fight for democracy. And then there’s the palace’s July 15. The palace took advantage of the coup attempt and five days later announced the state of emergency. We call this the palace’s coup,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“I don’t accept the label ‘terrorist,’ in fact I laugh at it. They can’t cope with the fact that I have a free spirit. If someone comes from a culture that isn’t democratic, then they can call my march a ‘terrorist march,’” he added.