A "long march" against Erdogan, in the name of justice
by NAT da Polis

The march, which ended yesterday in Istanbul with a million participants, set out from Ankara with only a few activists 25 days ago. The accession of the Kurdish party and the presence of some gray wolves. But the opposition party must promote a sense of democracy.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The long march by CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, which began in Ankara 25 days ago, ended yesterday in front of the prison in the Meltepe district of Istanbul, on the Eastern outskirts of Istanbul. The event was aimed at protesting against Turkish President Tayip Erdogan, for having incarcerated CHP deputy Ennis Berberoglu. The parliamentarian was sentenced to 25 years in prison for revealing state secrets concerning Turkey's involvement in "dirty war" in Syria.

The march started out without fanfare from Ankara but along the 425km has grown slowly in number, and also involved the pro-Kurdish HDP party, which certainly does not enjoy friendly relations with the CHP party, founded by Kemal Ataturk, Father of republican turkey and always hostile to the Kurdish question.

In the end it counted hundreds of thousands of people, with an estimated one million people gathering at Maltepe.

The event that takes place one year after the coup last July 16, 2016 and is the first major demonstration after the events of Gezi Park (Taksim Square), which took place in the same period of 2013.

The march was led by party president Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who many are calling the new Gandhi, waving Turkish flags and signs with the word Adalet (justice), while the presence of banners of the infamous Turkish ultra-nationalists gray wolves  did not go unnoticed. The presence of the latter is a consequence of the division within the ultra-nationalist MHP party because of the policy of leader, Devlet Bahceli, accused of being an empty vessel for President Erdogan.

The demonstrators were welcomed by 15,000 police officers.

It should be noted that the march was carried out despite the current state of emergency in Turkey after the failed coup last year, under which thousands of people from various political and professional fields have been persecuted, sentenced and imprisoned accused of supporting the attempted coup, attributed by Erdogan to Imam Fetullah Gulen.

Erdogan himself slammed the march and its organizers, accusing Kilicdaroglu of not respecting justice and supporting terrorism, also insinuating his complicity with Gullen, who had been forced into exile in the United States by the same Kemalists.

Beyond the controversy between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu, interestingly the marches did not only include  the deputy of CHP Ennis Berberoglu, but also thousands of others persecuted by the Erdogan regime. And Kemal Kilicdaroglu has been told that if the CHP party wants to break through the 25 percent wall that has been blocked for decades, it must look ahead and cultivate a sense of democracy in society, which has always been missing in this country. Only then will it make sense to speak and claim justice in Turkey.