Main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu, opposition leader Bahçeli in row over ‘justice march’
ANKARAMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli after the latter accused the CHP leader of supporting the U.S. based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is believed to have been the mastermind of the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
“I have neither been to Pennsylvania [where Gülen currently resides] nor spoke to him; nor has Pennsylvania thanked me back,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on June 22 in the northwestern province of Bolu on the eighth day of his “justice march.”
“When Fetullah Gülen was disappointed, his statements were published in newspapers. It is apparent who he thanked. Only my name is not on that list,” he added.
His comments came after Bahçeli accused him of supporting the Gülen Movement by protesting against the imprisonment of CHP lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu. “Be careful not to fall or return half way through your march because of laziness. If you have enough breath, walk till Pennsylvania and do not return,” Bahçeli tweeted late June 21.
“Those who form an alliance with FETÖ [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] and massacre justice, especially those who conspire against our party, should not speak of justice or morality. They are being ridiculous,” Bahçeli added, referring to Kılıçdaroğlu’s efforts to form alliances with groups that opposed the constitutional amendment charter in the April 16 referendum in a bid to form a united opposition against Erdoğan in the 2019 presidential elections.
“I just want justice in this country,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“If Mr. Bahçeli is behind that claim, he is welcome [to the march]. If he says that there should be injustice in this country, then he can continue to give statements,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
Dismissed academics attend march
On the eighth day of the “justice march” from Ankara to Istanbul, Kılıçdaroğlu and people accompanying him walked for 21 kilometers in Bolu, starting from Gerede district and ending near Yeniçağa district, around 300 kilometers from Istanbul.
Some academics who were dismissed from their jobs with state of emergency decrees were also at the march to support Kılıçdaroğlu.
The academics carried banners that read “we will come back,” “politics is justice” and “justice for all.”