Thousands of people participated in what is called the “Justice March” that was organized by the main opposition party in Turkey. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the march and head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party.
In a country that has seen a silencing of virtually all forms of opposition against the government, a startling spectacle has been unfolding in Turkey over the past few weeks.
The march route stretches some 450 kilometers (nearly 280 miles) from the Turkish capital of Ankara to Istanbul.
Holding a sign printed with a single word, “Adalat” or “justice” Kilicdaroglu has been leading thousands of protesters on foot through the blistering Anatolian heat in a display of resistance that has been likened to Mahatma Gandhi’s famous “Salt March” against British India’s colonial masters.
Nearly a year after a coup attempt that saw the imposition of a state of emergency, rights, law and justice are on the wane in Turkey today. Following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, Erdogan’s promised “cleansing” of Turkey’s state institutions has seen hundreds of thousands sacked from their jobs or jailed. On April 16, the country narrowly approved a constitutional referendum that will change Turkey’s political system to an executive presidency granting Erdogan sweeping powers.