Amid tension over the March of Justice led by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in protest of the arrest of a CHP deputy, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced a walk to squares across Turkey on the anniversary of a failed coup attempt on July 15.
“As the AKP, we will walk to squares in 81 provinces on the anniversary of July 15,” AKP spokesperson Mahir Ünal told reporters in Ankara following a Central Decision and Administration Board (MKYK) meeting.
Criticizing recent statements by CHP spokespersons, Ünal said: “The issue is not justice.”
The March of Justice, which was launched by CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, started in Ankara on June 15, is expected to last for 25 days and end at Maltepe Prison, where Berberoğlu is jailed.
Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in prison on June 14 for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.
Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkçi on Wednesday labeled the participants of the March of Justice as “terrorists.”
On Sunday Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said supporters of the march were 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, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu must seek justice in Parliament lest he be “invited by the judiciary [to testify].”