‘Is justice at someone’s discretion?’
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The Justice March in Turkey, which was started by the Chair of the main opposition CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, after the arrest of CHP MP Enis Berberoğlu, marked its 22nd day in Kocaeli, just 50 kilometers away from İstanbul.
Responding to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent statements, CHP leader said: “Since when has seeking justice been at someone’s discretion and mercy?”
Before starting off the march in the Dilovası district of Kocaeli, Kılıçdaroğlu visited the tomb of Yahya Kaptan, a name symbolic of the Independence War of Republic of Turkey. Afterwards, giving statements to journalists, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “We have been marching on our 450 kilometers long way without any harm and without saying anything unpleasant to anyone. We have been marching by embracing everyone (participating) and by just applauding those who do not think like us. Provocations occur; we just applaud (in response). Our demonstration, which is the most peaceful demonstration, has created serious worry among some groups. Nobody should forget this: we are holding this march for justice!”
Earlier, Erdoğan had said “They (the opposition) say that they’ll finalize it (the Justice March) with a meeting in Maltepe (of İstanbul). Unless violence occurs, I will allow it completely. But if a slightest unlawfulness takes place, the necessary intervention will be made”.
As a response, CHP leader stated: “Some say ‘well, you are able to march because we permit it.’ What does that mean? Since when has seeking justice become at the mercy of someone? This is our constitutional right!”
Highlighting the final meeting scheduled to be held in İstanbul’s Maltepe on July 9, Kılıçdaroğlu continued with the following remarks: “We are getting closer to Sunday and we are going to hold our public meeting without any problem. We are going to voice ourselves to Turkey and the world. We’ll tell why we held this march and what exactly we want!”
Talking to Elif Sudagezer from Sputnik yesterday (July 6), Kılıçdaroğlu answered a question on how the process will go after the march and said: “This is just a beginning and it will continue. Any step we take must meet the demands of the society. We are going to see what is going to happen in the parliament and outside of it.”
More than 70 women’s associations and LGBT communities also joined the march on Thursday (July 6), as they had released a joint statement about their support earlier. They started off their march from a spot in Gebze, where Italian artist and peace activist Pippa Bacca was found raped and murdered in 2008. Parliamentary group leader of HDP (People’s Democratic Party) Filiz Kerestecioğlu also joined the women in the march.
Numerous public figures – artists, former politicians, authors, and more – and unions’ and civil society groups’ leaders and representatives were also at the march.
Sedat Tekin, father of lynched soldier Murat Tekin, also participated, carrying a flag that read ‘justice.’ Murat Tekin was a student in the air force academy when he was lynched on Bosporus Bridge, during coup attempt of last summer, by the angry mob.
Front-page article of BirGün published on 7 July 2017, Friday with the headline of ‘All this pain hasn’t been born with for nothing; wait for us İstanbul’, referring to a title of a famous protest song