Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has instructed all his party’s organizations across Turkey to attend commemorations throughout this week marking the first anniversary of the July 15, 2016 military coup attempt.
“Respond positively to calls from governors on the July 15 commemorations. Attend the events, lay wreaths [at the graves of those killed]. Visit the families of martyrs and those wounded if there are any in your provinces,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the heads of CHP organizations in 81 provinces at a meeting late on July 10.
Claiming that some “veterans” of the coup attempt had joined his justice march from Ankara to Istanbul, Kılıçdaroğlu called on the CHP to attend the commemorations in order to stop the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) plans to “abuse them.”
Turkey will commemorate last year’s bloody coup attempt staged by what the government calls the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ). Some 249 people were killed and around 2,500 people were injured as crowds flocked to the streets to try to stop the coup plotters.
Not the same CHP
Kılıçdaroğlu’s address to the head of provincial organizations also touched on the CHP’s massive “justice rally,” which gathered around 1.5 million people in Istanbul on July 9 as the main opposition leader concluded his 25-day march from the capital.
“Our rally achieved its goal. But our struggle for democracy and justice has just begun. Today’s CHP is not the same CHP of the past,” he said.
“The rally in Istanbul proved that the CHP is not a party that represents just 25 percent of electorate. It represents unity and ‘togetherness.’ You are no longer ordinary provincial heads. You are the leaders of all those who are demanding justice,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
CHP leader to return Ankara by car
Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu has decided to return Ankara by car and plans to visit all the villages he passed through en route to Istanbul, meeting the many people who showed hospitality during his justice march.