Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said pro-government ultranationalists could attack a “March of Justice” he launched on June 15 to protest the arrest of a CHP deputy.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks came during an interview with the Hürriyet daily on Tuesday.
“A pro-government ultranationalist group will be used for this purpose. They will be made to attack us somewhere near Istanbul. We expect the police to prevent this attack. On the surface it will seem like a group provoked by the March of Justice carried out the attack, not that the government had it done. This will give the government an excuse to ban our march before reaching Istanbul on the grounds of the state of emergency, saying, ‘Society is polarized, public order is at risk’,” said Kılıçdaroğlu in warning March of Justice participants against provocations.
Kılıçdaroğlu added that Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş warned against the provocations when entering Istanbul.
A state of emergency (OHAL) was declared in Turkey five days after a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that allows the government to issue decrees that have the force of the law without the approval of Parliament.
The March of Justice from Ankara to İstanbul, which is in its 21st day, was initiated 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.