Members hit streets after Erdoğan slams CHP head
AA photoMembers of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) organized a march on June 9 to protest an attack on party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu during a funeral for police victims of a June 7 attack in central Istanbul.
The CHP’s march in Istanbul came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would “leave it to the nation” to give “his lesson” to Kılıçdaroğlu after the latter said he visited patients and prisoners “without discrimination.”
“You’re the head of the main opposition party in this country and you’re visiting members of the separatist terror organization in hospital,” Erdoğan said late on June 8, citing Kılıçdaroğlu’s recent remarks in an interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk.
“What is this? You are visiting [members of] the DHKP-C [outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front],” Erdoğan said.
“I leave this to the judgment of my people’s will. I believe my nation will give them their lesson in the most ideal and pleasant way,” Erdoğan said, addressing a group of neighborhood heads (muhtars) in Ankara.
Meanwhile, a crowd of CHP members held a protest march on June 9 after a bullet was thrown at Kılıçdaroğlu by a man during the funeral ceremony.
The group intended to march to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial headquarters in Istanbul but was only permitted to proceed as far as the Haliç Convention Center.
“Those who throw a bullet in front of the leader of a party that received 12.5 million votes should know that we have 12.5 million people in their homes,” CHP provincial head Cemal Canpolat said in a speech at the center.
As the group was dispersing, another brawl occurred when a rival group threw eggs at the marchers. Reacting to the lack of safety measures implemented by police, some members of the CHP group engaged in an argument with police officers. The brawl was halted after police sprayed pepper gas and due to some CHP members’ attempts at reconciliation.
A man who was detained on June 8 for throwing a bullet at Kılıçdaroğlu during a funeral held for police officers killed in the latest terror attack in Istanbul was identified to be the uncle of one of the victims of the bombing, according to reports. Meanwhile, two of three men who were also detained over a brawl during the funeral have previous police records for sexual harassment and drug use.
Police said 38 year-old İrfan Cengiz, the man who threw the bullet at Kılıçdaroğlu, was the uncle of one the victims of the Vezneciler car bomb attack that killed six police officers and five civilians on June 7.
Kılıçdaroğlu was among the number of politicians who attended the funeral ceremony held for two police officers, but he was faced with a protest by some attendees. Following the bullet-throwing incident, the attending CHP delegation were subjected to another brawl as two men reacted to the group as they were leaving the funeral.
Police detained Tunç E. (29), Kadir Can A. (30) and Yusuf T. (30) in connection with the last incident. Tunç E. and Kadir Can A. appeared in police reports on counts of sexual harassment, drug possession and causing injury.