Turkey’s main opposition CHP to invite all fractions of society to ‘justice congress’

Turkey’s main opposition CHP to invite all fractions of society to ‘justice congress’

Rifat Başaran – ANKARA
Turkey’s main opposition CHP to invite all fractions of society to ‘justice congress’

AA photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is planning to invite all fractions of the society to its “justice congress” set to be held in the western province of Çanakkale between Aug. 26 and 30. 

The party started organization efforts for the congress by forming a commission that includes CHP deputy leaders Bülent Tezcan, Veli Ağbaba, Tekin Bingöl, Seyit Torun, Aykut Erdoğdu and Çetin Osman Budak. 

The congress comes after CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu carried out a “justice march” from Ankara to Istanbul to voice concerns over the record of justice in Turkey. 

The march, which was initiated a day after CHP Istanbul lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in jail for “leaking state secrets” in a Syria-bound intelligence trucks case, received support from many opposition segments, with thousands joining the trek.  

Similar to the “justice march,” the main opposition is planning to hold the congress at a “supra-party” level after it was approved by the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK). 

“It should be above and beyond parties just like the ‘justice march.’ We will bring those subjected to injustices to the front,” Kılıçdaroğlu told CHP members, adding that “the only aim of the party should be to host victims.”

“It shouldn’t be our congress, but should be the congress of everyone subjected to injustices. We should only be hosting victims,” he added. 

According to Ağbaba, the concept of justice will be debated under 10 different topics for five days during the congress. 

“The topics will be determined in the MYK meeting. The congress aims to develop the feeling of empathy in the society rather than carry out academic debates on justice. All those believing that they were subjected to injustices will be able to join the congress, regardless of their political views,” Ağbaba said, adding that an extensive invitation list was prepared. 

Those going to be invited will include the wife of the murdered Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, Rakel Dink, the family of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who was killed during the 2013 Gezi protests, the family of teacher Necmettin Yılmaz, who was killed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the eastern province of Tunceli, relatives of intellectuals who were killed by an arson attack in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas in 1993 and women whose right to education was taken away in the past because they wore headscarves.  

“Our aim is to bring people with different views together rather than only those close to the CHP’s political views. We want victims to talk. This camp will be a platform where everyone talks about the unjust treatment they have been subjected to. We will search for solutions to these injustices. We have people talking about the pain and injustices they suffered in front of a crowd in our minds for the congress. Because the society is polarized in the face of injustices,” Ağbaba said. 

“Everyone is searching for justice behind the curtain of their own political view. We want people with different political views to understand and empathize with each other. We will find a solution stemming from their stories,” he added.