Imprisoned HDP leaders back ‘March of Justice,’ call for solidarity

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Selahatin Demirtaş (L) and Figen Yüksekdağ

Jailed pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş and former HDP Co-chairperson Figen Yüksekdağ, who is also in prison, have called for solidarity among opposition groups in Turkey and expressed their support for a “March of Justice” launched by Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Kılıçdaroğlu initiated the march from Ankara to İstanbul on June 15 in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, who 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.

HDP deputy group chairman Ahmet Yıldırım, who shared Demirtaş’s views about the March of Justice during an interview with the Gazete Duvar on Sunday, said: “Mr. Demirtaş said the march should aim to bring all the opposition groups together. He thinks the need for justice goes beyond his own arrest and the elimination of his victimization and that the march, not only through words but also deeds, should evolve into bringing justice for everyone.”

Yıldırım added that Demirtaş, who has been jailed on terror charges since November 2016, said he thinks the sustainability of social opposition is important.

Yüksekdağ, who has also been in prison since November 2016, also expressed her support for the march in a message and emphasized the need for justice beyond any political ideology.

“Under current circumstances in which journalists, politicians, academics, those who stand up for their jobs and livelihood at the expense of their lives and everyone who does not think like the Palace [President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] are being jailed, we should not aim for polarization but unite around the same goal and succeed in walking in every field of life without stopping. We are more than 49 percent; we can achieve justice, peace and freedom,” said Yüksekdağ.

Yüksekdağ was referring to the percentage of naysayers in a referendum held in April that introduced an executive presidency in Turkey.

As of July 3, Kılıçdaroğlu has covered 315 out of the 420 kilometers to İstanbul. He will end the march at Maltepe Prison, where Berberoğlu is jailed.

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