Erdoğan implies CHP chair Kılıçdaroğlu may be detained for inviting people to ‘March of Justice’

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Leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu walks with a placard reading 'Justice' during a protest march in Ankara on June 15, 2017, after CHP lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in jail for handing secret information to a newspaper. Thousands of supporters from Turkey's main opposition party took to the streets of Ankara on Thursday to protest the jailing of one of its MPs, vowing to march to his jail in Istanbul. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who is walking from Ankara to İstanbul in his “March of Justice,” must seek justice in Parliament lest he be “invited by the judiciary [to testify].”

Speaking during a meeting of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) on Saturday, 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.”

Responding to the Turkish president’s remarks, CHP Deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan said in a written statement on Saturday that Erdoğan had started to instruct the judiciary once again.

President Erdoğan has again started to instruct the judiciary. He is the main person responsible for this unjust process, he is the one who abolished justice. He is the one who has appointed judges and prosecutors in order to create his own judicial system.”

Underlining that Erdoğan was implying that Kılıçdaroğlu may be detained or brought before a court to testify, Tezcan said Kılıçdaroğlu is in the streets along with people in search of justice “as there is no more justice in Parliament.”

CHP Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu 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 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 of Justice” is expected to last for 25 days and end in front of the Maltepe Prison in İstanbul, where deputy Berberoğlu is being held.

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