The people are standing up for justice
Kılıçdaroğlu says that, according to research, three-quarters of ‘yes’ voters in the referendum view the march with tolerance.
CHP General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu conducted the second Central Executive Committee meeting on the route to Istanbul in İhsaniye village in Düzce where he stopped for a noon break yesterday. Kılıçdaroğlu, who briefed the Central Executive Committee at the meeting on scientific research into the Justice March conducted by a group including certain academics, said, ‘According to the scientific data, almost 98 per cent of ‘no’ voters state that they support our march. Three-quarters of ‘yes’ voters view our action with great tolerance. This is also put forward as the reason Erdoğan has not attacked our action for some time.’ At the meeting, at which the dung protest made in front of the camp site was also raised, Kılıçdaroğlu reportedly said, ‘Behaviour of this kind will not hurt us. The public conscience condemns those who attack the march. There is a wish to demonise this march and everyone is acting in line with their own mentality.’
Kılıçdaroğlu said in response to certain Central Executive Committee members who conveyed their impressions that, ‘We see the same protesters after a few kilometres shouting at us again and making the Rabia sign,’ ‘I see this, too. They are transporting the protesters and getting them to stage protests. We must keep our cool. They want to stir up aggression among our congregation and make us appear aggressive. We will not permit this. Notifications made through leaflets and announcements must be frequently repeated. Our citizens in the body of marchers are acting cool-headedly and I am very pleased with this.’
Kılıçdaroğlu apparently responded, ‘Our people know what we amount to’ to comments that the action was supported by FETO and the PKK
They will be unable to intimidate us
Party spokesperson Bülent Tezcan, making a statement following the Central Executive Committee, stated that CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu was, ‘Turkey’s justice spokesperson,’ and said, ‘This march is not a political party march and not a march on which right-wingers, left-wingers or revolutionaries could place an embargo and monopolise.’ He said with reference to the tipping of dung at the camp site, ‘They left their calling cards there. Those who are uncomfortable with this march and conspicuously voice this discomfort knowingly or unknowingly set the stage for provocative acts of this nature. Great responsibility weighs on the ruling party.’ Tezcan also commented with reference to the finding of a bullet on the road, ‘We are living through times in which organised crime bosses paint the ruling party in glowing colours and threaten the opposition with bloodshed. There is nothing new about throwing down bullets. Similar threats have been made before. Even if they throw down automatic rifles, not bullets, they will be powerless to intimidate us. We will not bow down to these threats and this blackmail.’ Asked about the HDP’s participation on the march and expressions of support from the PKK, Tezcan also said, ‘A distinction must be drawn between the two. It is inappropriate to discuss the Justice March in terms of party identities. Terrorist organisations are the enemies of justice. Even if there are statements of this kind by terrorist organisations, it is impossible for us to accept them. This is a statement of hindrance not support. It has nothing to do with us.’
Our hands have never risen in violence
On the fourteenth day of the Justice March, CHP General Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, stating that they were ready for provocations, said, ‘Our hands have never risen in violence. We are resolute and determined. We will continue resolutely on our way to Istanbul in laughter and joy. Let nobody hinder this.’ CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu and the Justice Procession spent the thirteenth evening on Kalıcı Konutlar Road leading into Düzce. In the evening hours, a lorry with civilian number plates tipped dung very close to the camp site. A total of three people, the lorry driver and his accomplices, were soon apprehended and placed under arrest. The driver was fined 3,000 lira. The three were released after having made statements to the public prosecution. Kılıçdaroğlu, making a press statement in the early hours of the morning following the incident, pointed out that protests were encountered from time to time and said, ‘But, our hands have never risen in violence, nor will they. On the contrary, following the provocation, both my colleagues and I as well as the citizens participating on the march applaud in unison. This is our passion for justice. This is very important in terms both of being a good example and being a good example for Turkey’s future. We said, “Justice, justice, justice” and we continue to march in this vein. We will continue. We are determined and resolute. We will continue resolutely on our way to Istanbul in laughter and joy. Let nobody hinder this. We are ready for all kinds of intimidation and all kinds of provocation. I convey may gratitude to the people of Düzce who have greeted us with love and tolerance.’
Bullet on the road to justice
Following Kılıçdaroğlu’s press statement, the procession set out in the early hours of the morning from the camp site situated at the entrance to Düzce. In yet another provocative incident that had been on the increase since Gerede, following the tipping of dung at the overnight stay site, a bullet was spotted on the route followed by the body of marchers a few kilometres after exiting Düzce. March participants say the bullet was thrown from a passing vehicle.
The people of Düzce apologise
Semih Kıbrıs, Chair of the People of Düzce Association in Ankara, called Kılıçdaroğlu following the protest in which dung was tipped at the camp site. It was noted that Kıbrıs, who conveyed his apologies to Kılıçdaroğlu for what had happened, stood as one of the AKP’s potential candidates for mayor in 2014 and as a potential AKP parliamentary candidate in the June elections.
Turkey is moving backwards
Acting on behalf of the Socialist International which has close to 140 countries, parties and organisations as members globally, General Secretary Luis Ayala and Deputy Chair Umut Oran numbered among the participants on the fourteenth day. Ayala commented, ‘We came here on behalf of our members throughout the world. This march is important, not just for Turkey, but also for the world and in the name of justice and democracy. If countries are ruled under states of emergency and in an authoritarian manner, the correct place for rights, the law, justice, democracy and human rights to be sought is the streets and open spaces. We have been following developments in Turkey with concern for a long time. We cannot remain indifferent. The system in Turkey is moving backwards, not forwards. It is winding backwards. Journalists, politicians and parliamentarians are in jail. I visited Mustafa Balbay in jail. After Balbay, I was denied permission to visit Gül and Dündar. I visited the newspaper. I will also visit the newspaper tomorrow (i.e. today). The letter I wrote to them was printed in Cumhuriyet. Hundreds of journalists are being detained. This situation by way of freedom and justice deficit attracts the attention of the entire world. For citizens to come and support this silent march is very inspiring. One face of Turkey is oppression, fear and violence, while its other face appears to be hope for the future and a desire for democracy. The world sees this, too. It is a wonderful thing that this march can be held in a very complex country.’
The most burning demand is for justice
ÖDP Chairs Committee Member Alper Taş, who joined the Justice March, said, ‘This is the march of all of us. The quest for justice is Turkey’s most burning demand. We have stood behind this demand from the outset. Kemal has had discussions over how we can keep ‘no’ together. ‘No’ has in any case united on this march. All the dynamics of ‘no’ have lined up once again within social activism. The justice march will not end. The government has legitimised the lack of justice. The justice march must continue until these injustices end. This, at the same time, is a march with Turkey’s future in mind. It is the fight to reconstruct Turkey on the basis of equality, fraternity, freedom, justice and solidarity.’ HTKP General Chair Erkan Baş went on to comment, ‘In our view, the darkness that the AKP has brought to Turkey and everyone who stands in opposition to this darkness are facing one another off. Justice is one of the areas in which this ruling party’s dirty face becomes most easily visible.’ For his part, DP General Chair Gültekin Uysal said, ‘In Turkey, justice and democracy is our national security umbrella. This must not be harmed. The democratic opposition is about to run out of oxygen.’
The march will end in hope
Actor Rutkay Aziz, who participated in yesterday’s portion of the march, commented, ‘I characterise this march, over and above being just a justice march, as being a historic step towards Turkey’s future and days to come; this march is chronicling moments of history. I violently condemn those who belittle or ridicule it and those who hum and haw at it. If they have not taken part in this march this will come to torment them greatly in emotional and conceptual terms and I would like them to consider this. I do not think that they must without fail come here and join this march, but they must at least embrace it emotionally. I feel great love and respect for his excellency, the General Chair. I have come here to wish him health and fortitude. I will embrace him with all my heart; both him and all our people who are marching. I believe that in the end this march will end in hope. I also wish to recall my friends at Cumhuriyet newspaper here; let their ears ring, too. I wish for them to gain their freedom as soon as possible. This march is happening for them and is happening for Enis. And this march is for human rights, peace and democracy in my country. I carry the heart-felt conviction that it will end in hope at its conclusion.’