As Turkey's main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is continuing his “justice march” with the attendance of supporters and various political circles in the country, the march gets positive and negative reactions in the country. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government representatives have implied the march as a terroristic act while some other political parties and groups have declared that they support the “justice march”.
Kılıçdaroğlu set off the 425-kilometer-length march on June 15 from the Turkish capital Ankara to İstanbul, scheduled to be finished on July 9 in a prison of İstanbul to protest the conviction of one of the CHP lawmakers, Enis Berberoğlu, who was convicted and sentenced to 25 years for revealing state secrets. Berberoğlu, former chief-in-editor of daily Hürriyet and lawmaker, was accused of giving journalists footage that showed local authorities searching Syria-bound trucks allegedly carrying mortar rounds and getting into a standoff with Turkish intelligence officials.
PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN RESEARCHES THE MARCH
While the march continues, it is reported that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP party (the Justice and Development Party) are anxious about the political wave of the main opposition across the country. Some Turkish sources claim that President Erdoğan has ordered a research to be carried out about the “justice march”, including the details of participators and supporters of it. Furthermore, some claim that the telephone traffic of the participators is being monitored in order to discover the domestic and foreign supporters of the march.
Meanwhile, Bülent Tüfenkci, President Erdoğan’s Minister of Customs and Trade, made a heated and controversial statement, “We build roads. We build the roads for the nation, not for the terrorists to march. We walk and will continue to walk to save the nation, not to save the terrorists”, implying Turkey’s main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu and the supporters of the “justice march” as terrorists.
As the main opposition CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu and his supporters were camping overnight at the end of their 13th day of walking on June 27 in Düzce, an AKP-led provincial municipality around 220 kilometres to İstanbul, a truck damped fertiliser on a road in front of the camping site to “protest” the march. Moreover, a bullet was found on the road on the 14th day of the march, which, according to some marchers, was thrown from a car of a government sympathiser. Kılıçdaroğlu called the incidents as provocations.
PRO-KURDISH HDP PARTY ATTENDS THE MARCH REPRESENTATIVELY
While the main opposition CHP party has announced that the “justice march” will end up with a mass rally in İstanbul on June 9, the group deputy chairman of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has declared that they also support the “justice march” and share its ideas in general, yet they will attend it within the level of party representatives.
Some Turkish opinion leaders call Kılıçdaroğlu “Gandhi Kemal”, comparing the main opposition leader’s “justice march” to the “Salt March” of Indian Mahatma Gandhi. Continuing with the attendance of supporters with placards and t-shirts reading “Justice” in localities en-route to İstanbul, the Republican People’s Party-led “justice march” will finish on July 9.
TKP: ‘WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN GETTING A PLACE IN THE CHP MARCH’
Meanwhile, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), Kemal Okuyan, shared the views of communists on the “justice march”, underlining that TKP cannot praise solutions that stay within the boundaries of Turkey’s capitalist system:
“Apart from some small left-wing groups who regard this march pragmatically, there is no excitement in the people. The Communist Party of Turkey does not have to be sensitive towards every action or campaign of other political parties. Moreover, CHP is a bourgeois party addressing the left-wing political base. Of course, we do not regard this march as a simple, ordinary action. We cannot analyse the "march" by disregarding the class identity, the international connections, the ideological line and daily motivations of CHP.”