We are sincere and determined in our ‘justice’ call: CHP head
The main opposition leader has stressed that his “justice march” only aims to bring judicial fairness to Turkey, saying he is sincere in his call in response to criticism from the ruling and nationalist opposition parties on the 11th day of his march from Ankara to Istanbul.
“Everything I am doing is sincere. I am not and have never been a dissembler. I am only doing what I believe is right,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters on June 25, marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
Kılıçdaroğlu began his march to Istanbul right after CHP Istanbul deputy Enis Berberoğlu was jailed on charges of espionage and of leaking state’s secret documents to the media.
Both the leaders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have slammed the CHP leader over the march, calling on him to return to parliament and leave “street politics.”
However, Kılıçdaroğlu noted that MHP voters had also expressed support for his march.
“I want justice, so does he. We may be from different political parties but we both want justice sincerely,” he said, adding that there are dozens of people in prisons on baseless accusations in Turkey.
“There are thousands of people who don’t dare to express their thoughts due to the [political] climate. We believe they also need justice. We will continue our march in determination, with love and tolerance,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
The CHP leader told reporters that the most important thing Turkey needs is “comfort and peace” and the end of terrorism, stressing that the CHP lent all necessary support to the government to this end.
‘I will walk every centimeter till Istanbul’
Kılıçdaroğlu said he had “certainly lost some weight on the road,” and he vowed to continue on until the 450 kilometers from the Turkish capital to Istanbul was completed.
“There is two thirds of the road left. We’ll continue. They are asking: ‘Does Kılıçdaroğlu really walk or does he takes the car instead?’ I will walk every centimeter of Ankara-Istanbul road. There are no cars. You can only believe that justice will prevail after you have walked every centimeter of the road. You are not doing it to show off or out of personal interest. This is not a political party matter. The country needs this,” he said.
‘Please end hunger strike’
The CHP head also recalled the situations of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, two teachers suspended in a state of emergency decree law who are now on the 110th day of a hunger strike in jail. They were imprisoned one month ago on terror charges.
“Please end your hunger strike. A great portion of society supports you. You just want to return to your jobs by correcting judicial unfairness. We also support you,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, expressing his hope that they will soon return to their positions at their educational institutions.
“I kindly request that they end hunger strike,” he said, pleading for Gülmen and Özakça to not kill themselves as their health conditions reach a critical stage.