Journalist says Erdoğan tracking phone calls of ‘March for Justice’ participants

Turkey's autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Yeniçağ daily’s Ankara representative Ahmet Takan has claimed that Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has asked for an investigation into “March for Justice“ launched by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on June 15 and that all the phone calls on the route of the march are being tracked.

Takan, in his Thursday article titled “Erdoğan is investigating the march,” wrote: “Erdoğan realized that he cannot prevent the march through harsh criticisms he made over some groups. He is having an investigation done [to find out] what the determinants in the march are and what their roles are. He will designate a new strategy based on the outcome.”

Abdurrahman Dilipak, a columnist writing for the staunchly pro-government and radical Islamist Yeni Akit daily, had also implied in his column on Monday that CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu might be arrested due to a “March for Justice” his party launched last week.

Dilipak likened the “March for Justice,” which the CHP kicked off on Thursday from Turkey’s capital of Ankara to İstanbul in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu last Wednesday, to a march towards prison. “Kılıçdaroğlu is continuing his ‘great march towards prison.’ He is going there with his own two feet. Don’t stop, continue on your way. Thanks sir,” wrote Dilipak.

President  Erdoğan said on Saturday that Kılıçdaroğlu must seek justice in Parliament lest he be “invited by the judiciary [to testify].” Speaking during a meeting of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), Erdoğan said: “Holding ‘Justice’ placards in one’s hands doesn’t bring justice. Inviting people into the streets is for the interest of no one. If he [Kılıçdaroğlu] thinks they will find justice in this, he is wrong. Parliament is the place to seek justice. Don’t be surprised if the judiciary invites you [to testify] tomorrow.”

A high criminal court in İstanbul handed down a prison sentence of 25 years to Berberoğlu on June 14 for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria, sending him to prison immediately after the ruling was announced.

The CHP’s “March for Justice” is expected to last for 25 days and end in front of the Maltepe Prison in İstanbul, where deputy Berberoğlu is being held. (SCF with June 29, 2017


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