CHP leader completes Freedom March with thousands in Istanbul
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) of Turkey, walked with thousands of others down the streets of Istanbul on Sunday.
The event was a culmination of a 450-kilometer 'Freedom March' from Ankara to Istanbul.
Kilicdaroglu, 69, walked the final three kilometers in the heat before being joined by crowds in the Maltepe district.
"Why do I walk? This 450-kilometre march has one goal: Justice," he said.
"They ask 'Can we seek justice on the road?' Yes we can. If there are grave injustices and illegalities in your country and if your country's courts are incapable of delivering justice, you will stand up and hit the road," he said in a statement to AFP.
Kilicdaroglu set out on June 15 with hundreds of supporters and journalists on the walk from Ankara to Istanbul. The ‘Justice March’ was in protest to the arrest of Enis Berberoglu, who was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 25 years in prison after leaking video of Turkish military trucks which were said to be delivering arms to Syria.
The actions against Berberoglu, a former newspaper editor, were seen by some as a turning point because most post-coup crackdowns have targeted the mostly Kurdish, and opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) parliamentarians or members, and not the CHP, which is the party of Mustafa Kemal Atarturk, who founded the Turkish republic.