World Bulletin / News Desk
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People's Party (CHP), announced the demonstration Wednesday after Enis Berberoglu was sentenced to 25 years for giving a newspaper information on the transportation of arms to Syria.
“We do not want to live in a country where there is no justice,” Kilicdaroglu told reporters in Guvenpark in Ankara.
“We want to live in peace in our own country, like any free or civilized country.”
The marchers, many carrying Turkish flags and placards reading “Justice”, plan to walk from the capital to Maltepe prison in Istanbul, where Berberoglu is being held.
Kilicdaroglu was accompanied by CHP executives and supporters as well as family members.
However, he said the demonstration was not a party political event. “Everyone who wants justice has to support this march,” he said. “There cannot be justice in a country where it is prisons are overcrowded.”
Berberoglu was convicted of revealing state secrets by passing photographs and video to the Cumhuriyet newspaper concerning the search of trucks organized by the National Intelligence Organization en route to Syria in January 2014.
Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dundar and the newspaper’s Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul were convicted in May last year of publishing state secrets.
Berberoglu is the first CHP deputy to be imprisoned recently. Around a dozen lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are currently jailed, mostly awaiting trial over alleged links to the PKK terror group.
In May last year, parliament voted to strip lawmakers facing trial of their parliamentary immunity.