Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Melih Gökçek said on Thursday that a “March of Justice” started by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) could be interpreted as a second coup attempt, following a failed coup in Turkey in July of last year.
The CHP on Thursday kicked off a “March of Justice” from Turkey’s capital of Ankara to İstanbul in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu on Wednesday.
A high criminal court in İstanbul on Wednesday handed down a prison sentence of 25 years to Berberoğlu over a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks, sending him to prison immediately after the ruling was announced.
Gökçek wrote in a Twitter message that C Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was supported by the army. “In this march towards Istanbul, if there is any uprising by FETÖ [a derogatory term used by government circles to refer to the faith-based Gülen movement] people who somehow still manage to stay in the army, then Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is responsible for this,” he said.
According to Gökçek, this could be seen as a second coup attempt after the failed coup on July 15, 2016.
The CHP’s “march of justice” is expected to last for 25 days and end in front of Maltepe Prison in İstanbul, where deputy Berberoğlu is being held.
The arrest of Berberoğlu, who would normally enjoy parliamentary immunity, was possible because the CHP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had lent support to a proposal submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on removing deputies’ immunity from prosecution last year.
The immunity of all deputies who face probes was lifted in May 2016. Currently, 11 pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies are in jail on charges of terrorist links.