İKLİM ÖNGEL / SİNAN TARTANOĞLU
Following the detaining of Istanbul MP Enis Berberoğlu, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu set out from Güven Park yesterday as he launched the ‘Justice March’ that will lead from Ankara to Istanbul’s Maltepe Prison. Kılıçdaroğlu walked carrying a banner reading ‘justice’ for the length of yesterday’s march. Party rosettes were not used on the march and, even if there were a variety of slogans, the only demand on the banners was for justice. Kılıçdaroğlu launched the march with the words, ‘It is now more than we can take and we say “enough.” Justice, justice, justice. We must give this weighty concept its due.’
Kılıçdaroğlu, accompanied by thousands of citizens, launched the justice march that is planned to last for 23 days yesterday at Ankara’s Güven Park. Ankara Provincial Governate took precautions at Güven Park the evening before last. Güven Park was deserted until morning. Citizens were not admitted to Güven Park during the working day. However, Atatürk Boulevard was kept open for both pedestrians and vehicles. Even if the provincial governate had instructed pavements to be used on the march, roads were closed to traffic particularly in the city centre and thousands of people walked on the main roads.
Will not be the last
Kılıçdaroğlu made his first statement in front of his home, having left to head for Güven Park. He spoke in the company of his wife Selvi Kılıçdaroğlu and son Kerem Kılıçdaroğlu. Here, the CHP leader said, ‘I am setting out on the Justice March. I hope those whose consciences are deaf will hear us. We do not want tension and dispute, we do not want journalists in prison. These things cause us anguish. I said, “If a price has to be paid, I will pay that price.” Now I am setting out on the march. This march will not be the last.’
In the statement he made at Güven Park, he said, ‘We are confronted by a dictatorial regime. We do not want to live in a country in which there is no justice. It is now more than we can take and we say “enough.” That is why we are launching our march. This march of ours has no connection with a political party, and is an auspicious march and a justice march. There can be no justice in a country in which prisons are crammed full. Justice, justice, justice. We must give this potent concept its due.’
In sports shoes
Parliamentarians, not least Kılıçdaroğlu, were seen to have made various preparations for the march that would last for kilometres. Kılıçdaroğlu and the MPs did not wear suits and some of them took part in the march in sportswear. Kılıçdaroğlu walked carrying a ‘justice’ banner, as he said he would the day before yesterday. His wife Selvi Kılıçdaroğlu, son Kerem Kılıçdaroğlu and Mine Alşan walked together with Kılıçdaroğlu.
No party rosettes or pennants were used on the march. On the march, which also saw participation by the ÖDP, People’s Houses and United June Movement, only Turkish flags and Atatürk posters were carried alongside the ‘justice’ banners.
Kılıçdaroğlu took his first break after four hours in the shade of a tree at the Şaşmaz junction. Here, Kılıçdaroğlu said, ‘Journalists and members of parliament are in jail. Are journalists who are chasing the news to be jailed? We are confronted by a structure whose conscience has become blunted. They do not hear what we say. We must reprimand this structure. Patience, patience, but the most patient of us has also had their fill.’ Kılıçdaroğlu was also asked about the comparison made with Gandhi with reference to the march. Kılıçdaroğlu said, ‘It is a good comparison. He marched for his country’s freedom. And we are marching for our country’s justice.’
Kılıçdaroğlu completed yesterday’s march at the racecourse in Eryaman having walked some twenty kilometres. Kılıçdaroğlu, recalling the release of Doğan Holding’s Ankara Representative Barbaros Muratoğlu, said, ‘Let’s hope no journalist remains in jail by the time we reach Istanbul.’
The year is 2017 and we are seeking justice in Ankara
Alper Taş, member of the Chairs’ Committee of the ÖDP, which is supporting the march, said, ‘We are here in opposition to his majesty’s judiciary, the judiciary that takes instructions from the Palace, and to defend justice and the law and defend democracy. Diogenes from Sinope sought justice with a lamp in his hand in the 400’s BC. We are seeking justice in the heart of Ankara in 2017.’
We are also marching for the HDP people
Theology author İhsan Eliaçık said, ‘This is a perfectly splendid move. But why is it only as far as the CHP MP for Maltepe? It should go as far as Edirne and the HDP Co-Chair Demirtaş.’ CHP Deputy General Chair Erdal Aksünger said, ‘Even if Berberoğlu is released, we will not abandon this march. We are also marching for the detained HDP MPs.’
FROM DEMİRTAŞ TO BERBEROĞLU
Başak Demirtaş, wife of HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş who is detained in Edirne Prison, called Enis Berberoğlu’s wife Oya Berberoğlu. The announcement made by the HDP read, ‘In her telephone call, Başak Demirtaş expressed the belief and hope she felt that the hard times we are passing through would soon end, stressed that this could be brought about through struggle and conveyed her feelings of solidarity.’
TWENTY KILOMETRES PER DAY
The justice march is planned to last for 23 days. According to the programme, Kılıçdaroğlu will walk 19-20 kilometres every day. The first day was completed yesterday evening at Eryaman Racecourse. The justice marchers set up a tent here. CHP Deputy General Chair Bülent Tezcan announced that Kılıçdaroğlu would spend the night here. The march will start again today at 8 am. It is planned for a break to be taken at Kızılcahamam at the end of the fourth day, at the boundary of Bolu province on the sixth day, at the Sakarya River on the 16th day and in Dilovası on the 20th day.
Thousands march for justice
İKLİM ÖNGEL / SİNAN TARTANOĞLU