Turkey’s Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkçi on Wednesday labeled participants in the March for Justice, which was launched by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on June 15 in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, as terrorists, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.
“We construct roads. We construct roads for the nation. Not for terrorists to march on,” said Tüfenkçi during a ceremony in the Kemaliye district of Erzincan province. “We walk not to rescue terrorists, but nations. We will continue walking,” added the minister.
On Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said supporters of the march are separatists and members of “FETÖ,” a derogatory term used by government circles to refer to the faith-based Gülen movement.
Two days after the start of the march, Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu must seek justice in Parliament lest he be “invited by the judiciary [to testify].”
“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,” said Erdoğan.
Responding to the Turkish president’s remarks, CHP Deputy Chairman and spokesperson Bülent Tezcan said in a written statement on Saturday that Erdoğan had started to instruct the judiciary once again.
Meanwhile, Tezcan has also said on Wednesday that they would hold a demonstration in the Maltepe district of İstanbul on July 9 after the “March for Justice” reaches there, Sözcü daily reported. Tezcan, who made a statement after a Central Executive Committee meeting, said, “Of course, this march will not come to an end with the demonstration in İstanbul, I am not talking about a new march; I’m saying that this fight will go on until justice prevails.”
Tezcan also warned against provocations and urged solidarity. A bullet was found on the side of a road shortly after Kılıçdaroğlu and the participants of the march began walking in the northwestern province of Düzce on Wednesday morning. In a similar incident on Tuesday, an unidentified person dumped a truckload of manure near the CHP’s March for Justice camp in Düzce, sparking anger among CHP supporters.
A high criminal court in İstanbul recently handed down a prison sentence of 25 years to Berberoğlu 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 Maltepe Prison in İstanbul, where deputy Berberoğlu is being held. (SCF with turkishminute.com) June 28, 2017