Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılçdaroğlu has been marching from Ankara to Istanbul for the past 19 days, allegedly to highlight the poor state of the justice system in Turkey.
The march started when a high criminal court ruled that CHP Deputy Enis Berberoğlu, a former journalist and the ex-editor in chief of the mass circulating daily Hürriyet, was found guilty of being a part of a spy plot and revealing state secrets and was sentenced to 25 years in jail. He was sent to prison in Istanbul at the Maltepe jail.
The court ruled that Berberoğlu had illegally handed secret documents and videos of a raid against the TIR lorries that were carrying relief material and aid to the Turkmens in Syria to left-wing daily Cumhuriyet's then-editor in chief Can Dündar, who published the story claiming that the lorries were carrying arms being secretly sent to the Daesh terrorists in Syria. The aim of the story was to defame Turkey in the international arena and create the impression that Turkey is not fighting Daesh, but in fact supporting it.
Can Dündar, who fled to Germany and is now being sheltered by the German government, wrote in a book that a "left-wing parliamentarian" had handed the secret videos and documents to him and police investigations and phone contacts proved that parliamentarian was Berberoğlu. Neither Berberoğlu, nor Dündar denied the allegations.
What is important, however, is how Berberoğlu obtained these materials. Who gave them to him? There are claims in Ankara that the secret material was obtained by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) that staged the plot in January 2014. The prosecutors and military personnel that were affiliated with the gang intercepted the lorries and filmed the items in the vehicles and then used them to create a perception that the authorities were sending arms to Daesh. The secret material was in the possession of Ekrem Dumanlı, the editor of Zaman, which was the media headquarters of FETÖ. Dumanlı apparently gave the secret material to CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu, who then handed them over to Berberoğlu to be published in Cumhuriyet.
It is a simple matter of espionage that involved the CHP boss. Now, Kılıçdaroğlu is panic stricken and wants to create a diversion so he cooked up this march from Ankara to Istanbul. He is claiming to be protesting the jailing of Berberoğlu, which is a straightforward case of spying and treason. It has nothing to do with journalism, freedom of expression or any other freedoms.
The plot thickens as the Kılıçdaroğlu march starts to attract the families of those who were allegedly involved in the July 15, 2016 bloody coup attempt. It is turning into a march by those who support the bloody coup attempt, which left 249 people dead and more than 2,000 wounded. It is also turning into a march where the PKK sympathizers in Turkey are exploiting the CHP for their own goals. So Kılıçdaroğlu's march is either being hijacked by FETÖ and by the PKK, or Kılıçdaroğlu is letting this happen voluntarily just to add to the confusion and save his own skin.
However, sooner or later Kılıçdaroğlu will end up in Istanbul, and will supposedly end his march at the entrance of the Maltepe Prison. Once there, will he be able to defend the case against Berberoğlu? Will he be able to say he was the one who handed the secret documents that Cumhuriyet published?
Berberoğlu himself has to reveal who handed him the secret documents and who pushed him into this current mess.