Turkish opposition head calls for unity among citizens

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu says Turkish people can be united, despite differences in ideas

Turkish opposition head calls for unity among citizens

By Burak Akay, Ismail Ersan and Seyhan Kirici


The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party on Tuesday called for unity among the country’s citizens, despite differences in ideas.

During his speech in Turkey's western Canakkale province at the end of a four-day party congress, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the People’s Republican Party (CHP), said citizens should be able to come together.

“It is a day for unity, not for separation,” Kilicdaroglu said.

Turning to his 450-kilometer (280 mile) march from Ankara to Istanbul last month, Kilicdaroglu said the move had been for all Turkish citizens.

"The justice march broke the chain of fear. It incited bravery and hope," said the opposition leader.

Kilicdaroglu organized a march from the Turkish capital to Istanbul following the imprisonment of CHP lawmaker Enis Berberoglu, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Berberoglu was convicted of revealing state secrets by passing images to the Cumhuriyet newspaper concerning the searching of National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks en route to Syria in January 2014.

At the end of the journey from the capital to Istanbul, Kilicdaroglu held a rally near Maltepe prison, where Berberoglu is held.

Violence in Myanmar

Kilicdaroglu also said he “strongly condemned” the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

“We should condemn a massacre if people are killed due to their beliefs,” he said.

Deadly attacks on border posts in Rakhine state broke out on Friday, resulting in mass civilian casualties.

Later, media reports emerged saying Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force and displaced thousands of Rohingya Muslim villagers, destroying homes with mortars and machine guns.

The region has seen simmering tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.

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