Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the country’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) over the march to protest against sentencing the party’s deputy leader to 25 years and accused the party of being affiliated with terrorists.
“If you are launching a march for terrorists and for their supporters, something which you have never thought about doing against terrorist groups, you can convince no one that your aim is justice,” Erdogan said, as quoted by the state-run Anadolu Agency.
On 14 June, a court sentenced CHP’s Enis Berberoglu to 25 years in jail citing his role in leaking classified documents to the journalists of the Cumhuriyet opposition newspaper. The next day, the CHP started the protest march running from Ankara to Istanbul. The march is expected to finish on 9 July at the Maltepe prison in Istanbul where Berberoglu is held.
In November 2015, a Turkish court ruled to arrest two Cumhuriyet reporters, Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, for publishing an investigation concluding that Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks had carried containers with artillery shells, machine gun rounds and mortar shells to Syrian rebels. Berberoglu was accused of providing the confidential information about this case to the journalists.