Official of Turkey’s AKP accuses participants of CHP’s Justice Congress of ‘drinking at historic sites’

Turkey’s main opposition party CHP (Republican People’s Party) launched a Justice Congress in the western province of Çanakkale on Saturday (August 26).

Party officials announced the organization as a ‘step in response to demands from the members of the public for furthering the search for justice’.

Over 700 hundred guest speakers, including academics and politicians, will be taking part in seminars that will last for a total of four days at the historic Kocatepe field. The congress site is organized in a way that will have a capacity of hosting around 8000 people. Citizens attending the congress will have the chance to express their concerns over the ongoing deterioration of the justice system in the country. The fifth day will be marked with ceremonies on August 30 Victory Day.

Meanwhile, AKP officials and supporters began criticizing this organization of the main opposition which aims to embrace ‘everyone, regardless of political affiliation, who feels the need to voice objection to injustices’.

A top official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and MP from Çanakkale, Bülent Turan, shared a video image and pictures of a small group of people dancing and drinking outdoors, claiming it to be people attending the Justice Congress.

‘We do not care about who drinks what but you should not have done it at the Martyrs’ Cemetery at least for the sake of the memory of the site’.

With a prompt and firm response, CHP’s deputy chair and spokesperson Bülent Tezcan denied the claims of AKP official and said: “I have to underline this: It is impossible for us to allow or overlook such acts at a site like this”.

Tezcan defined the accusations as ‘efforts to denigrate’ the opposition members and said it could also be an act done purposefully to back such defamation.

The site where the tents and platforms are set is part of a large historic field that also covers a cemetery of the martyrs of the War of Independence and alcholic beverages are legally prohibited in the site.

After the allegations of AKP official Turan, the Presidency of Historic Area of Çanakkale issued a statement mentioning that relevant agreements were signed by CHP before the start of the organization at the site. ‘CHP officials have been officially notified to report unproper acts on the site to our office in order for necessary legal actions to be taken’, the statement concluded.