Biz-novosti

Here's what you need to know about Turkey's opposition march


A so-called Justice March launched by Turkey's main opposition party from Ankara on Sunday culminated in a mass rally in Istanbul, in which the party's leader put forth 10-point demands including lifting the state of emergency enforced in the wake of a coup attempt in July previous year.

Addressing the throng, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said his 25-day march is the first stage of a long campaign. We're beginning to rebuild some of that trust that we lost in one another: "they lost our trust to a certain extent, we lost theirs, so I think we are working very hard to rebuild that level of trust and that is the basis for any relationship", Tillerson said.

But as the march reaches its destination Sunday, all eyes are on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's response. "This is a warning".

USA officials have been critical of the methods Erdogan has used to consolidate power since a failed coup attempt in 2016, which include arrests of purported political dissidents and journalists. About 50,000 people have been arrested and 150,000 state workers including teachers, judges and soldiers, have been suspended.

The rally could be one of the biggest opposition protests seen in Istanbul since the mass 2013 demonstrations against Erdogan's rule sparked by the planned redevelopment of Gezi Park in the city.

Kilicdaroglu has strongly condemned the failed coup bid - blamed by the government on US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who denies the charges - but has been bitterly critical of the scope of the state of emergency.

Kilicdaroglu, whose party led the opposition to a controversial April referendum that handed far-reaching new powers to an already-authoritarian Erdogan, launched the protest after a CHP member of parliament, Enis Berberoglu, was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment last month for revealing state secrets. "We want peace", he said, adding: "I represent no political party".

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Kilicdaroglu plans to walk the final three kilometers (1.9 miles) alone.

Though the government allowed the march and rally to proceed despite security concerns and its evident criticism of Erdogan's authoritarian leadership, it is the largest sign of opposition since the failed coup in July, which resulted in the deaths of 249 people.

The government has dismissed the march as a stunt while a riled Erdogan has accused Kilicdaroglu of siding with "terrorists" and the July 15 plotters.

The rally comes nearly a year after a failed military coup radically changed the country's direction.

In the centre of Istanbul anti-government rally was held, which was attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

"I miss all of you", Tillerson said.

A constitutional amendment this year has deeply divided Turkey after the coup amid heavy crackdown on those allegedly linked to Fethtullah Gulen.

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