CHP launches ‘justice march’ from the capital Ankara, after arresting of MP
CHP started a march from the capital Ankara to Istanbul against the 25-year prison sentence handed down to its deputy Enis Berberoğlu.
Main opposition party, CHP, started a march from the capital Ankara to Istanbul on Thursday to demonstrate against the 25-year prison sentence handed down to its MP Enis Berberoğlu on spying charges.
A court on Wednesday sentenced Enis Berberoglu, on charges of giving Cumhuriyet Newspaper a video purporting to show Turkey's intelligence agency trucking weapons into Syria.
Berberoglu is the first deputy from the CHP to be jailed since the government crackdown that followed last year's failed coup. More than 50,000 people have been jailed and more than 150,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs in the aftermath of the July 15 attempted putsch.
The leader of the CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has called the decision lawless and politically motivated. On Thursday, he launched a 425 kilometre (265 miles) march from Ankara to the Istanbul jail where Berberoğlu is being detained. Party officials said they expect the walk could take at least 20 days.
Police imposed tight "security measures" at the site of the protest on Thursday morning, setting up security barriers and sealing off nearby roads and carrying out searches with bomb disposal teams and dogs. Water cannons and armoured police vehicles waited nearby the park.
“We do not want to live in a country where justice is non-existent. There is no peace in a country where justice is non-existent. We want to live in peace.” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“If there is a price to pay, we will pay that price,” he added, urging "everyone who wants justice" to support the march, which he said was not exclusive to any political party.
Several parties and organisations declared their support for the "justice march". (EVRENSEL DAILY)