CHP wants ‘justice for all’ on anniversary of justice march
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said his party wanted justice for all 81 million citizens of Turkey, speaking in a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the “justice march,” which he had initiated after the imprisonment of CHP lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu last year.
“We are not demanding any favors form anybody. We want all 81 million people to live in justice. We only wish that,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on June 14.
Kılıçdaroğlu had initiated the march last year after Berberoğlu was arrested on June 14, 2017, on charges of “helping a terrorist organization,” “espionage,” and “leaking secret state documents.”
He was given a 25-year prison time for “leaking state secret documents” for providing daily Cumhuriyet with a video purporting to show National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks carrying weapons to Syria.
The arrest had caused widespread outrage, with Kılıçdaroğlu starting the walk from Ankara on June 15 and trekking 450 kilometers to Istanbul in 25 days.
People had joined the march all throughout the way. It ended with a grand rally in Istanbul’s Maltepe Square on July 9.
“The unjust and unlawful arrest of the qualified journalist Enis Berberoğlu was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. There was no other choice for us but to do this walk,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in the ceremony, criticizing the current record of democracy in Turkey and accusing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of harming democratic principles.
“We walked not to just make some people hear our voice. It was because we wanted to show the whole world that millions of people have chanted for justice. This is very important,” he said.
“We did the ‘justice march’ for justice in education, in the streets, in the media, in the elections, in the labor force. We did it to restore faith in a justice system that has been dying,” he said.
“We want justice in the state administration. We want the judiciary, executive and legislation to be free, to supervise each other, we want all institutions to be under supervision,” he added.
Kılıçdaroğlu also called on the citizens to vote in the upcoming June 24 elections, likening the AKP government to “a wall that needs to be demolished.”
“There were millions in Maltepe and there was a wall in front of us. Now is the time to demolish that wall,” he said, urging voters to cast ballots in the June 24 elections.
Letter from Berberoğlu
In the ceremony, a letter from Berberoğlu who is in Maltepe prison was also read out loud.
“Today it is the anniversary of my extrajudicial arrest under the guise of justice. But I, just like many citizens waiting for justice, will remember this day with the march that you have carried out,” Berberoğlu said in the letter.
“If it was just about me, thousands that participated in the walk would not reach millions in Maltepe, and the snowflakes growing throughout the roads would not accompany you,” it added.
“Those who want a just governance have no choice but to say ‘enough’ in the June 24 elections,” the jailed MP said.