CHP leader warns of provocations as justice march nears Istanbul

CHP leader warns of provocations as justice march nears Istanbul

CHP leader warns of provocations as justice march nears Istanbul Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has warned of potential provocations against the crowds walking with him in the “justice march” toward Istanbul. 

Following Kılıçdaroğlu’s warning, armored vehicles were seen accompanying the march. 

“We are hearing that some provocations could take place as we are getting closer to Istanbul. I want all participants to respond to any kind of provocations with applauds,” the CHP head told reporters early July 3. 

Kılıçdaroğlu began the 19th day of his justice march on early July 3, with thousands of participants accompanying him. There have been a number minor protests against the march throughout its course.  

“We have been subject to swearing, stones have been thrown at us, and fertilizer has been dumped on our path. But we are walking for justice and for a cause. So we consider the stones thrown at us as roses and the curses as nice words,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

“Whatever they say, we’re walking for an ideal Turkey, for our children, for our future and for justice,” he vowed.   

The march is set to end on July 9 with a massive rally in Istanbul. 

The protest had begun right after CHP Istanbul Deputy Enis Berberoğlu was arrested on accusations of espionage and “leaking state secrets” to the press. 

“No prosperity can be reached through oppression. Our core philosophy obliges us to stand with the oppressed,” Kılıçdaroğlu stated.

“The basic cause of this march is that injustices in Turkey have built up to such a point that … those who accuse, judges, and convicts are all the same person, and that is supposed to be called justice. There can be no such justice … That is why we continue our march with the same determination,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on July 3 that it was the responsibility of the CHP to not lay the ground for “internal provocations” during the ongoing march. 

“Unfortunately it is a march that should be monitored carefully as it lays the ground for some terror organizations to lay claim to it. We encourage the CHP’s managers to act sensitively,” Kurtulmuş told reporters in Ankara after the weekly cabinet meeting.

“We, as the state and Turkey’s domestic security departments, have been working to not allow any kind of provocation in the march from the start. CHP members should also make that effort. It is the CHP’s duty to not to allow terror organizations to find a place [during the march],” he added.