Print Edition - 2017-07-06 | Oped
Turkey’s 250-mile protest
Jul 6, 2017-
The trouble with the authoritarian course President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has chosen is that once you start trying to suppress opposition, you cannot stop. Mr. Erdogan has used emergency powers to purge and arrest thousands of leftists, liberals, Kurds and others. Now thousands of protesters are trudging from Ankara to Istanbul on a March for Justice. How Mr. Erdogan will respond is not known; so far he has accused the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, better known as the C.H.P. and the prime organizer of the march, of abusing the concept of justice and serving as the mouthpiece of traitors. Demonizing any opposition as in cahoots with the plotters of the coup has been his preferred method of intimidating critics. The watershed moment for the opposition was the sentencing last month of a C.H.P. legislator and former newspaper editor to 25 years in prison for espionage. For the head of the C.H.P., Kemal Kilicdaroglu, that was the signal to call for the march, the first act of mass defiance. Erdogan opponents had been frustrated by Mr. Kilicdaroglu’s failure to unite a disparate opposition. Now he has made clear that while Mr. Berberoglu’s jailing is the catalyst, the march is not about one party, but about forging a broad coalition for justice.
Published: 06-07-2017 08:21