Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president and chairman of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, gestures as he delivers a speech during the party's provincial meeting in Ankara, July 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again lashed out at the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu, saying his three-week "march for justice" that is nearing its end is nothing but a sign of his support for terrorists.
"If you start protests to protect terrorists and those who support terrorism, when it did not occur to you to take part in anti-terror demonstrations, then you cannot convince anyone that your objective is justice," Erdogan said at a meeting of his ruling party in Ankara on Saturday.
The Turkish president also accused the CHP, Turkey’s main opposition party, and its leader of pursuing a line that "had gone beyond being a political opposition and taken on a different proportion."
Kilicdaroglu’s march through a 450-kilometer trek from Ankara to Istanbul began on June 15, when the CHP lawmaker and former journalist Enis Berberoglu was convicted of leaking classified information to a newspaper and was sentenced to 25 years in jail.
Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu (C) walks during a "walk for justice" from Ankara to Istanbul against the sentencing to 25 years in jail of the party's lawmaker, June 20, 2017, Saray near Kizilcahamam, north of Ankara. (Photo by AFP)
Kilicdaroglu, who plans to end the march with a rally outside Berberoglu's prison in the Istanbul district of Maltepe on July 9, has been followed by thousands of people every day. The march has become a sign of growing public anger with a crackdown that unfolded last year in July after a failed coup against Erdogan. Tens of thousands of people have been jailed or lost their jobs over alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, a cleric based in the United States who is blamed for the coup. Erdogan also faces criticism over his massive clampdown on Kurdish militants.
Erdogan said in his speech on Saturday that Kilicdaroglu was in fact a sympathizer of coup plotters and Kurdish militants, saying the road taken by him was “the way to Qandil and Pennsylvania”, a reference to where Kurdish militants and Gulen are based.
Saturday was day 17 of the march for justice as Kilicdaroglu walked through the Akyazi district of Sakarya province to head to the town of Sakarya. The opposition leader will have a walk of about 150 kilometers from Sakarya to Istanbul. 

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