‘Justice is jailed’ says Turkey’s opposition leader after visiting imprisoned CHP deputy

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who paid a visit to jailed CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu in İstanbul’s Maltepe Prison on Monday, has said that “justice is jailed” in Turkey.

Kılıçdaroğlu, who initiated a March for Justice from Ankara to İstanbul on June 15 in protest of the arrest of Berberoğlu on June 14 and held a Justice Rally on Sunday to mark the end of the march on its 25th day, expressed his concerns about the current situation of the judiciary in Turkey. Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in prison for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.

“Justice is not actually in the palaces. Under current circumstances, the buildings on which ‘palace of justice’ is written are not giving out justice. We have seen that justice has been jailed. Mr. Berberoğlu is writing his memoirs. We hope justice will be served and that he will be released in a short period of time. A heavy verdict was given [to him],” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

Meanwhile the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Mahir Ünal, who spoke about the “Justice Rally” held by Kılıçdaroğlu on Sunday, has said Kılıçdaroğlu is playing a dangerous game. Ünal, who called on Kılıçdaroğlu to show respect for Parliament at a press conference on Monday and said that “I am inviting Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to be respectful towards Parliament and politics. He is playing a dangerous game.”

Asking Kılıçdaroğlu not to seek justice in the streets, Ünal accused him of bringing fascism and anarchy into society by asking people to rebel.

The CHP announced that the number of attendees at the Justice Rally organized by the party in İstanbul’s Maltepe district on Sunday was 1.6 million, while the İstanbul Governor’s Office gave a much lower figure, saying that only 175,000 people attended the rally.

A chamber for topographical engineers in Turkey said on Monday that over 2 million people might have attended in the “Justice Rally” organized by CHP on Sunday, refuting the İstanbul Governor’s Office, which has given a much lower figure, saying that only 175,000 people attended the rally.

According to a statement released by the Chamber of Topographical Engineers, part of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), on Monday, at least 1.5 million people were at the rally site in Maltepe yesterday, and the number might exceed 2 million with the people in additional spaces around the main rally area.

“The meeting site has a surface area of around 275,000 square meters. Moreover, there were also people in areas that were closed to traffic, which was around 100,000 square meters. So, people gathered in an area totaling up to 375,000 square meters. To calculate attendance, it is generally estimated that between three and six people occupy each square meter. Therefore, we can say that at least 1.5 million people attended the Justice Rally.” (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 10, 2017

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