Turkey’s main opposition party CHP (Republican People’s Party) has launched a Justice Congress in the western Çanakkale province of the country with the aim of creating a platform to continue voicing the demands of the people for justice.
The Congress, which starts on Saturday, August 26, is scheduled to last for a total of 5 days and expected to draw tens of thousands, who will have a chance to attend a number of panels and workshops at the historic Kocatepe field of Çanakkale.
Over 700 speakers, including academicians, authors, and politicians with a diverse background, will deliver speeches under eight main panel topics. The first of the topics to be discussed will be ‘justice in courts’, which will then be followed by speeches and discussions on justice in daily life, elections, religion, livelihood, education, and state.
The decision for holding this historic congress came shortly after the completion of the 450-kilometer ‘Justice March’ from Ankara to İstanbul, which was started off by the party’s leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and joined by tens of thousands throughout.
A final rally organized in İstanbul’s Maltepe at the end of the March, on July 9th, marked another historic moment where millions gathered to stand against the ongoing injustices in the country.
Later in July, the party officials announced their decision to hold a congress in response to ‘calls from various parts of the society’ to enhance the scope of the march and carry it to another level where people will have an opportunity to address and discuss their concerns and demands further.
When announcing the details of the congress at the end of July, party’s Spokesperson Bülent Tezcan had said it will be a platform reaching out to and embracing all people in the country, regardless of political views or affinity, to meet the need for creation of solutions for the widespread injustices at various fields of life.
In line with this approach of party officials, the congress will be held without displays of any party logos or flags.
Former AKP (Justice and Development Party) MP Ertuğrul Yalçınbayır, MP Levent Tüzel of HDP (People’s Democratic Party), and former MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) Gürcan Dağdaş are among the representatives from political parties and groups, aside from CHP (Republican People’s Party) members, who will take part in the congress as speakers.
A section of the congress site named as the ‘Memory Street’ will be dedicated to around 200 attacks, murders, and assassinations that took place throughout the history of modern day Turkey.
The Justice Congress will be finalized on August 30th, the national Victory Day marking the victory in Dumlupınar battle under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk against occupying foreign forces during the Independence War of Turkey in early 20th century.
In a tweet posted on Friday (August 25), the head of CHP called on to the people and said: ‘If you defend independence of judiciary and if you’ve faced injustices, come! Let’s shout our demand for justice together at the Justice Congress. During the 4 day long Justice Congress where we will discuss justice, it will be the people who’ll have the say. People will tell and we, and all of Turkey, will listen!’