CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu completed the twenty-fourth day of the Justice March with the participation of hundreds of thousands of people. Kartal put on a majestic reception for the CHP leader, who was entering the boundaries of a CHP municipality for the first time on the final day of the march. The march, following three legs, ended at about 4.15 pm at the camp site at Kartal Dragos. As to the remaining three kilometres to the rally area in Maltepe, Kılıçdaroğlu will walk these alone. On arriving at the rally area, he will have taken nearly 700,000 steps. According to police records, 230,000 people joined the march yesterday. In the statement he made before setting out, Kılıçdaroğlu, noting that he cordially thanked the citizens who had showed interest and protested along the road, said, ‘Two people stand side by side and one applauds while the other protests, but they are actually friends. Be sure that I take comfort from politics acquiring such a culture. And the aim of this march is to secure this justice in some way.’ Kılıçdaroğlu, declaring that he further cordially thanked the security forces, said, ‘They worked selflessly to ensure our security. The police and the gendarmerie. This shows that when they are the people’s police and gendarmerie, not those of the political rulership, there is no problem between them and the people.’
Kılıçdaroğlu, stating that he would walk alone from Dragos to the rally area, commented, ‘Let me warn here and now those of my citizens who say that they, too, will walk with their general chair. Do not wait for me at Dragos. If you are interested, come to the rally area. We want nothing at the rally area apart from flags, justice banners and Atatürk posters. We do not want the six-arrow flag, either. Our flag is our national flag We all live together under that flag. Atatürk is our shared value. I absolutely do not condone anybody bringing another banner or unfurling another flag. We will treat those who do so as provocateurs. My request of the security forces is for other banners not to be admitted to the area.’ Kılıçdaroğlu, mentioning that he also conveyed his gratitude to the members of the press who had not left him alone over this time, said, ‘Especially camera operators had occasional accidents when they were walking one behind the other. I hope that there was no serious injury.’ As soon as Kılıçdaroğlu finished his speech, he left the overnight site at the sports stadium in Tuzla İçmeler quarter and set out on the march. Selvi Kılıçdaroğlu also marched along with her husband for a while.
It has revived hope
The Justice March that Kılıçdaroğlu launched and has seen the participation of hundreds of thousands of people has revived joy, hope and solidarity. For the final day, hundreds of thousands of citizens began to assemble at Tuzla Stadium in the early hours of the morning. With the rules being explained to new participants by march stalwarts, the slogan, ‘Right, law, justice’ rang out through the site. The march, which set off under wide-ranging security measures, grew in size along the way. The roadsides groaned with well-wishers waiting to wave at Kılıçdaroğlu. Kılıçdaroğlu, responding with smiles to the flood of affection of those proclaiming, ‘We are proud of you,’ ‘Well worth every step’ and ‘What a star,’ was generous with his return waves.
Convey my greetings to the detained journalists
Kılıçdaroğlu marched for a while yesterday in the company of detained journalists’ relatives. The group, including our detained reporter Ahmet Şık’s wife Yonca Şık, arrived at the site in t-shirts reading, ‘Freedom for Journalists.’ Kılıçdaroğlu told the group as they were marching, ‘Convey my greetings to the detained journalists. We are also marching for their justice.’ Later, colleagues of Sözcü Newspaper’s detained employees Gökmen Ulu and Mediha Olgun also joined the procession with Kılıçdaroğlu. Kılıçdaroğlu expressed his support to Sözcü reporter Bora Erdin, saying, ‘We are on Sözcü’s, Gökmen’s and Mediha’s side.’
Özel: The road has taught us plenty
Deputy General Chair Özgür Özel continued to caution the crowds in announcements, as he had done for days. Özel assessed the final day for our paper as follows: ‘The road does indeed teach. We have learnt many things on the roads we have trodden. And we have taught plenty of things through the contacts we have made at the places we have walked.’ Stating that their efforts would continue after the rally, he commented, ‘The General Chair will hold a meeting with the chairs of 81 provinces in Istanbul on Monday. We may hold an assessment meeting in Ankara with MPs. The task of dealing with parliament’s House Regulations is beginning. They think we are tired, but we have walked for kilometres every day and get up the next day fresh as a daisy with six hours’ sleep. We will embark on the fight over the House Regulations with far greater vigour than they expect.’