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Convergence with the ‘no’ camp in the quest for justice

All groups that campaigned for ‘no’ in the constitutional amendment referendum have converged on the ‘Justice March’ launched by CHP General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu following the detaining of Istanbul MP Enis Berberoğlu. Leading figures from the conservative world also accompanied Kılıçdaroğlu on the second day of the march.
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Yayınlanma tarihi: 19 Haziran 2017 Pazartesi, 11:30

The groups that campaigned for ‘no’ in the constitutional amendment referendum have converged on the ‘Justice March’ launched by CHP General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu following the detaining of Istanbul MP Enis Berberoğlu. The march has attracted strong support from the ÖDP, Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions, Confederation of Public Employees' Trade Unions, People’s Houses, Felicity Party, MHP opposition wing, Democratic Party and centre right. The HDP, many of whose MPs, including the co-chair, have been detained, is supporting the march, saying, ‘Even if late, it is a correct reaction.’

The ‘National Centre Movement’ chaired by Hüsamettin Cindoruk has announced that it finds Kılıçdaroğlu’s march ‘to be just, legitimate and correct.’ The announcement, stating that it is not only Kılıçdaroğlu who is marching but the conscience of society that seeks justice, reads, ‘The politicisation of the judiciary and the diverting of the state of emergency from its true purpose to turn it into a means for intimidating and sentencing all people and bodies that are in opposition can never be accepted, because, if there remains no justice and no trust in the judiciary, then the right of the people to resist within democracy and the rules of law becomes legitimate.’

Support from Felicity

Felicity Party General Chair Temel Karamollaoğlu said, ‘Moves that overshadow trust in justice and cause doubt in the social conscience do not just harm this trust, but cause deeper cracks to appear among our people.’ The party’s former General Chair Mustafa Kamalak, for his part, said, ‘Wherever there is oppression and wherever there is injustice, we must resist it with all our strength, even at the cost of our lives.’

Justice for all

Binnaz Toprak stated on behalf of the ‘Dialogue Group’ into which figures such as Akın Birdal, Ali Haydar Konca, Hasip Kaplan, Rıza Türmen, Ufuk Uraz and Zülfü Livaneli have congregated, ‘There can be no peace and democracy where there is no justice. We support the Justice March launched by the CHP for the reliability of judges, the hallowed right of defence and an independent and impartial judiciary.’ On the other hand, the ‘Unity for Democracy Platform’ that was founded in response to a suggestion by Rıza Türmen and asserts itself to be a new opposition front said in its announcement, ‘We do not have to silently and sheepishly acquiesce to that which is deemed fit for us. On the contrary, we have a duty as citizens to know, hear, react and intervene.’

Former MHP MP Meral Akşener voiced a message of support for the march. Administrators and members of People’s Houses and the ÖDP joined the march. Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions Chair, Kani Beko, commented, ‘We want justice for all of us and we are all rising up for justice.’ The Confederation of Public Employees' Trade Unions is also supporting the march.

Support from the HDP, too

The HDP’s Mithat Sancar stated in parliament, ‘The march, even if late, is a correct reaction. The way this correct move can be taken forward and strengthened is not by potentially focusing just on a specific party’s or possibly other MPs, but by them displaying the will to stand up for all detained MPs and democratic politics as a whole. Every kind of effort that springs into action around wide-based democratic principles and goals will be a most valuable effort for which this country feels the need.’

The street blocked the coup

On the second day of the ‘Justice March’ that he launched following the detaining of his party’s MP Enis Berberoğlu, CHP General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu delivered a robust response to criticism emanating from the government wing and the MHP. Kılıçdaroğlu replied to MHP General Chair Devlet Bahçeli, ‘Let Mr Bahçeli not worry, he will also need justice,’ and also responded to Prime-Minister Binali Yıldırım and government members’ criticisms of ‘Why are you coming out into the street?’ by saying, ‘Our people who came out into the street blocked the FETO coup attempt on 15 July.’

The second leg of the Justice March set out from the racecourse, where it left off on the first day, at eight in the morning. Kılıçdaroğlu, making a statement at the start of the march, said, ‘While occasional criticism is forthcoming, the reactions received are exceptionally positive. This shows that the need felt by Turkey for justice is increasing with each day that passes. So, taking this march forward up to Istanbul is exceptionally important and valuable from our point of view and that of Turkey and everyone who wishes for justice.’ Kılıçdaroğlu, when reminded of Devlet Bahçeli’s comment, ‘What will happen if there is a counter-march from Istanbul?’ had the following to say: ‘If the marches are staged within legal parameters nothing will happen. We are holding this march to make cohabitation, peace and calm prevail in our country. Let Mr Bahçeli not worry, he will also need justice. So, we will accomplish our Justice March all together despite such criticism.’

Not in a position to go, “Oh ouch”

Kılıçdaroğlu noted in reply to an inquiry as to whether he felt tired following the first night, ‘Were I to say that I feel no tiredness now this would not be true. It is necessary to be realistic. But, I am not in a position to go, “Oh ouch” because I have got tired. I will soldier on with great dynamism.’ In response to President Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement in his speech the day before yesterday in the wake of Kılıçdaroğlu’s harsh criticism of the former’s use of the ‘Rabia, the sign of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organisation,’ that, his preference was for, ‘We have four principles,’ rather than the ‘Rabia,’ he made the assessment that, ‘The criticism I made was justified criticism. He was the one who spoke of the Rabia for the first time, and the one who said, “I use the Rabia sign.” Now he is the one who is abandoning it. It is Erdoğan’s classic style.’

Kılıçdaroğlu, later making a press statement in front of the Akıncı (Mürtet) sign on the E5 highway, noting that he was speaking from the place where the FETOist coup attempt in which 249 laid down their lives on the evening of 15 July was planned, said, ‘The people came out into the street, sought democracy and their rights and drove out the coupists.’ Kılıçdaroğlu, noting that he faced the question, ‘The street has no importance. Why are you coming out into the street?’ commented, ‘Our people blocked the 15 July coup attempt by coming out into the street. This means that we will stand up for democracy and justice everywhere and in all settings. If there is justice, there is democracy and if there is democracy, there is justice. Where there is neither, there is oppression and there is no state. I appeal to all officials from here. They speak of the independence of the judiciary. I do not instruct the judiciary, they do. Those who speak of the independence of the judiciary instruct judges and prosecutors. It is said, “Bring indictments and the Ministry of Justice will look through them and then you will process them”.’

Groundwork for attack

Kılıçdaroğlu, saying that they will defend justice and democracy until the end and pointing to the instigation of provocation and incitement, spoke as follows: ‘Certain people are trying to prepare the groundwork to attack us. I have told my people and I tell everyone, “Do not fall victim to provocations; they may incite you.” We will continue on the path of our convictions and in our quest for justice.’

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