Kılıçdaroğlu urges marchers not to carry party flags in final rally

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Supporters of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu walk on the 23rd day of the "March for justice" in Istanbul, on July 7, 2017. Kılıçdaroğlu and his supporters are marching from the Turkish capital Ankara to an Istanbul prison to protest the conviction of one of his party's lawmakers. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Chairman of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called on supporters of the “March of Justice” not to carry any party flags on Sunday, the 25th and final day of the march he started after the imprisonment of a fellow deputy.

Participation in the march has been on the rise, especially since the group reached İstanbul on Friday. According to the t24 news website, 215,000 people participated in the first part of the walk on Saturday. However, Kılıçdaroğlu said he would walk the last stretch of the 450-kilometer distance from Ankara to İstanbul alone and meet supporters at the Maltepe rally area. CHP Deputy Enis Berberoğlu has been held in Maltepe Prison since June 14.

The March of Justice from Ankara to İstanbul was initiated in protest of the arrest of Berberoğlu, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.

The government has been targeting the march on the grounds that it has been disrupting traffic. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also recently accused the marchers of standing by terrorist organizations. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Friday claimed that the march has reached its objective and called on the CHP to end the protest.

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