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Kılıçdaroğlu addresses the hundreds of thousands at the Justice Meeting: This is just the first step!

The largest rally in Turkey’s history was held in Maltepe, despite rumours of provocation and interruptions to transport.
Yayınlanma tarihi: 10 Temmuz 2017 Pazartesi, 17:45

More than two million citizens were in the rally area to the slogan of ‘Right, law, justice.’ Kılıçdaroğlu reached the rally area having walked three kilometres on the final day of the Justice March. The CHP leader, having submitted the ten-point ‘Solicitation for Justice’ text for citizens’ approval, declared that the quest for justice would continue and commented, ‘If the courts are not independent, if parliament has been usurped of its powers and if the press has been silenced the only place for our quest for justice is the street.’
The large Justice Rally rounded off the Justice March that had been launched under the leadership of CHP General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu following the detention of his party’s Istanbul MP Enis Berberoğlu. The walk of twenty-five days’ duration covered 432 kilometres. Kılıçdaroğlu completed the march on his own, walking two of the remaining three kilometres together with his staff members. Kılıçdaroğlu addressed the Maltepe rally for about one hour. Kılıçdaroğlu said as he embarked on his speech, ‘We have concluded the march we launched from Ankara Güven Park in the morning hours of 15 June 2017, but let nobody think that this march is an end. This march was the first step for us.’ Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also proclaimed a ten-point list.
The key points from Kılıçdaroğlu's speech are as follow:
My cherished citizens, my friends who have covered 450 km along with me. Dear seekers of justice. We send heart-filled affection from Maltepe square to all of Turkey. We have concluded the march we launched from Ankara Güven Park in the morning hours of 15 June 2017, but let nobody think that this march is an end. Let everyone come to the full realisation that July 9th is a new step, a new climate and a new date. July 9th is a new birth. When the march started in Ankara, on the first day I completed 21 kilometres along with a group of citizens with a ten-minute break. We took a break somewhere for ten minutes and completed 21 kilometres. I convey my cordial thanks and gratitude to Ankara, Kahramankazan, Kızılcahamam, Mulak, Gerede, Bolu, Kaynaşlı, Düzce, Hendek, Adapazarı, İzmit, Gebze and Istanbul that encouraged and supported us along the way.
I owe a debt of gratitude to the mothers, fathers and grandfathers who invited us to their dining tables, offered their buttermilk, offered their tea, sent meals and lovingly presented us with the wild flowers they had gathered. I send my thanks to them from here. I send my thanks to Uncle Veysel, marching for his son who was detained while at military academy, whom I accompanied over the greater part of the way.
 ‘Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu respects everybody’
And, of course, there were also our beloved citizens who protested against us on the way. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu respects everybody. I thank them, too. We will bring first-class democracy to this country. Everybody will be able to express their opinion. I also have thanks for our security forces. From Ankara to Istanbul, all the security forces from the police to the gendarmerie exerted themselves to ensure that we would assemble here in good health.
Let nobody forget that they thought we would engage in rowdiness. They thought we would smash and break as we marched. We have staged the world’s most peaceful march. We have staged the most peaceful action. I convey my love and respect to the entire eighty million. We had a painful loss: Hasan Tatlı lost his life as the result of a heart attack. May God have mercy on his soul. I convey my condolences to his family and relatives. His two lovely daughters still came on the march and carried out their father’s last request. I both convey my condolences and pass on my gratitude.
Why did we march?
Why did we march? I will also reply to this question if you permit. We marched for non-existing justice. We marched for the rights of the wronged, for the imprisoned MPs and the detained journalists. Today is Sözcü reporter Gökmen Ulu’s birthday. I wish him many happy returns from here. I know you are inside, by brother. But, do not forget that Maltepe Square is here, at your side.
We marched for the teachers dismissed from universities. The expelling of university teachers under decrees with the force of law is a total disgrace against democracy. In the past, generals did this in coup periods – you will recall the 1402-niks. Now important figures with worldwide renown like Kaboğlu have been expelled and also forbidden from traveling abroad.
 ‘We marched because we are against the single-man regime and FETO
We marched for those who have been unjustly dismissed from public service, we marched for children, we marched for sub-contracted workers, for forest villagers, for lynched soldiers and for imprisoned students. We marched because we are against the single-man regime and FETO and we are against 20 July. We marched because we are against IS, the PKK and Al-Nusra. We marched because the remains no system of meritocracy in the state. Thirteen times in fifteen years the university and public service entrance exam questions have been stolen. We also marched because of that. We marched for our women and children who are victims of violence. We marched for the Mavi Marmara fallen. We marched because they were usurped of their rights in a dishonourable agreement. We marched for our brothers Nuriye and Semih, who have been branded as terrorists and imprisoned and are on hunger strike in search of their rights.
We marched for the business world that is unable to speak in the climate of fear. We marched calling for the political arm to come to light. We marched for our 249 fallen and heroes. Distinctions cannot be drawn among the fallen and heroes, and we marched for none to be drawn.
‘If it comes to the street, the street until the end’
When we started the march, criticism came, saying, ‘Justice is not to be sought in the street.’ If there are great inequalities in a country, if that country’s courts are not independent and they take instructions from the political authority and rule in line with the political authority’s expectations, if parliament, the place where the national resolve is manifested, has been usurped of its powers, if parliament has been atrophied, if the press has been silenced or taken over by the rulership, then there is only one place for our quest for justice and that is the street. Justice, justice, justice. We will say, ‘Right, law, justice’ until the end. They say to us, ‘Why are you seeking justice in the street?’ Parliament and the people took a stance to repel 15 July. The street is good for stopping a coup and the street is bad for justice. We will both prevent the coup and bring justice. If it comes to the street, the street until the end.
‘The justice statue’s eyes are uncovered’
You have noticed it at palaces of justice. The justice statue’s eyes are covered, its ears are blocked. Its scales are equal. Judges and prosecutors, however valuable you believe justice to be, I will tell you how things now stand as that justice statue goes. The statue’s eyes are not covered but uncovered, its ears are not blocked but unblocked and its scales are fraudulent. It is possible to live up to this statue and dispense justice again, not by coming under political surveillance, but by doing one’s duty as a citizen, as a judge, and dispensing justice. If you do your duty by obtaining orders from the political authority, you are not prosecutors or judges. You are placing dynamite at the foundations of the Republic of Turkey. At this point, I wish to call out to the esteemed presiding judges and members of the Constitutional Court. Do not fear. Cowards die many times before their deaths. Stand firm and stand honourably. Cowards die many times before their deaths. You ruled that MPs can be tried but not detained. Why are you terrified thinking you will anger the Palace? Members of the Constitutional Court, your standing firm, your standing honourably, your defending justice, your positioning yourself in favour of justice and your defending the country’s interests, not those of the palace, will strengthen you and strengthen Turkey. Do not dance to someone’s tune.
 ‘Let everyone once more sow the seeds of hope’
Let the palace do to you what it will. Tomorrow you will look your children on the face and your grandchildren in the face. You say, ‘An order came from the Palace.’ Please, relinquish those posts and let honourable prosecutors come. We walked 450 kilometres with great relish. They said we would give up after 50-60 kilometres. They took a look: ‘This man is marching.’ I marched, I marched with resolve, I marched for our grandchildren and for our future. Without drawing any distinctions. I embraced everyone.
What have we gained from this march? First, we have removed the cloak of fear from society and thrown it in the rubbish bin. We are bold people. That is why I also called on you not to surrender to fear. We saw that we were not alone and we made known to the whole of Turkey and the world that we were not alone. We saw that we would establish a just Turkey.
 ‘Hope is infectious’
Hope is infectious. If I am hopeful, my friend beside me is also hopeful. If Maltepe is hopeful, Istanbul is hopeful. If Istanbul is hopeful, Ankara is hopeful. Let everyone once more sow the seeds of hope We have learnt to share our hope and our infectiousness. We have longed to live in fraternity like a forest. We have written one of the biggest pages of the history of the Republic of Turkey. We have created a legend. I once more convey my feelings of gratitude, love, respect and affection to the eighty million.
What do we want?
When the matter turned to justice, we put all our differences to one side and fused together. Together, we have created one of the most important legends of the Republic of Turkey. You are the ones who created that legend. I once more convey my respect, greetings and affection to you, all of you, the eighty million.
So, what do we want? We want the state of emergency to terminate, Turkey to normalise and for politics to stay out of judicial complexes, barracks and mosques. We want a Turkey that does not have journalists in prison, and we want a free media. We want a Turkey having universities that speak, not universities that are silent. We want the fight against FETO to be conducted for real, not for show and the political arm of this coup attempt absolutely to be exposed. We want a democratic parliamentary system, not a single-man regime. We want equality of women and men. We do not want young people to be portrayed as potential criminals. We want all anti-democratic practices that disrupt our social peace to be ended on the basis of equal citizenship.
Ten-point manifesto
On the way here, I have drawn up a Maltepe Solicitation text. It constitutes a fine text. I will read it shortly.
We, that is we the tens of thousands who have been marching since 15 June and the hundreds of thousands who have come together today in Maltepe, call out to the entire world. We want justice for everyone. We want justice, and justice alone. We want our demand for right, law and justice that we have called for in unison from tens of thousands of mouths for twenty-five days to be met. Justice is a right. Justice is our right. We want our right.
As the millions who have come together to this end, our findings and solicitation regarding the situation that Turkey has been placed in over the past year are as follow.
1. We once more condemn the 15 July coup attempt in clear and decisive language. Parliament’s resolute and honourable stance on the evening of 15 July and the resistance of our people, who had gone onto the street, against the FETO coup attempt amounts to a constitutional and democratic gain by our country. We call this the street’s/people’s 15 July. However, the exposing of the political wing of this coup attempt is consciously blocked by the rulership. For the hallowed memory of our 249 fallen and for our 2301 heroes, the political arm of the Fetullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation must be exposed and the true coupists held to account.
2. Exploiting the 15 July coup attempt, the 20 July coup was staged by the rulership. On 20 July, the state of emergency was proclaimed and parliament was usurped of its powers. We call this the Palace’s 15 July. State of emergency implementations that have turned into a civilian coup have concentrated legislative, judicial and executive powers in a single person. The state of emergency must be terminated immediately and the legal order must be established in accordance with universal principles.
3. Placing the judiciary at the command of politics is a betrayal of democracy. So, judicial independence and impartiality, the indispensable rule for democracy and safety of life and property, must be implemented. The right to a fair trial must be applied without exception. Practices in violation of human rights such as ‘collective crimes’ must be abandoned.
4. Today, under state of emergency implementations, victims have been deprived of access to the judiciary and their social security rights. State of emergency victims have been virtually condemned to ‘civil death’. All practices that restrict victims’ access to the judiciary and social security rights must be ended as a requirement of the rule of law.
5. Academics and other public servants who have no connection with the 15 July coup attempt or the organisation that was behind it but, following the 20 July civil coup, were deprived of all their rights simply because they were perceived to be in opposition to the government must be restored to their posts. In view of the Constitutional Court’s case law, the detained MPs must be released immediately.
6. There can be no talk of democracy in a country in which more than 150 journalists are in prison. Journalists who have been detained simply for carrying out their profession must be released immediately and a halt must be called to all intimidation of the media. All obstacles to the free expression of thought must be removed.
7. The constitutional amendment that was carried out under state of emergency conditions, in an environment in which free debate could not be held and, moreover, with all of the state’s resources having been mobilised is illegitimate. A constitutional amendment that, rather than aiming at meeting the needs of society, met the expectations of one person, was put into effect under an illegal resolution of the Supreme Election Board. This was a ‘stampless election’. Turkey cannot and must not be governed under an illegitimate constitution.
8. All kinds of tutelage must be lifted from the democratic parliamentary system. The democratic, secular, welfare, law-based state, the safeguard for the freedom of religion and conscience, must be strengthened and induction into and promotion within the public service must be placed on a merit basis. The eroding of the principle of secularism in education must be ended and education policies that are recreating social inequality must be changed.
9. A widespread unjust order continues, not only in the legal sphere, but in all spheres of social life. A joint resolve must be developed to eliminate a wide range of ongoing social injustices such as unemployment, poverty, absence of pay capable of supporting a human existence, lack of organisation, discrimination, widespread violence and terrorism. All antidemocratic practices that disrupt our social peace must be ended on the basis of equal citizenship. Discrimination against women, one of the most serious manifestations of social injustice, must be averted, spheres of women’s freedom must be protected and women’s rights must be implemented in all areas of social life.
10. The aggressive foreign policy that has been implemented in recent times has also created a vicious circle that consolidates injustice within our country. Justice must come to bear, not on domestic politics and social life alone, but also on international relations. A transformation must be made towards a foreign policy that has a fraternal and just approach towards all peoples and all identities in Turkey’s geographical setting, is peaceful and respects international law. Turkey must turn its face towards the family of nations that attaches importance to human rights, the rule of law and justice.
I put this solicitation to the vote. Let those who accept please raise their hands. We will march with honour.
Respect for the law and the constitution is the first condition for attaining justice. Public order and social peace cannot be attained in a society in which there is no legal certainty and justice is not brought about. An unjust society, on the other hand, is a society in which human dignity is harmed.
This Solicitation for Justice has been compiled in the conviction that justice is the basis for the respect for human dignity and for social peace.
This struggle is our struggle. And we are Turkey. We are the Turkey that wants justice, that wants peace, that wants democracy, equality, freedom and fraternity. We are the Turkey that wants to live fraternally in peace with the world, not to break off from the world. We are the Turkey that wants harmony not dispute. We are the people. This road is our road and these squares are our squares. This country is our country.
This struggle is the struggle for justice. This march is our march. We will not stop until all of our demands in the solicitation have been met. This march has now started. We will break down the walls of fear. This final day of our Justice March is a new beginning. It is a new first step.
In this connection, in conveying these admonitions of ours to all officials who exercise legislative, executive and judicial powers, we call on political parties, various sections of society, civil society organisations and all citizens to stand up for the goals of the declaration and to fight to bring them to life. I owe a debt of gratitude to you all. I thank you all.

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Cumhuriyet Arşivi Gazete Kupürlerinde:

Enis Berberoğlu, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu