Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's march from the capital city of Ankara to Istanbul, which started last week, has drawn little attention from the country's youth, in terms of the average age of those participating in the march.
The average age of participants stands at around 40 and Kılıçdaroğlu has failed to draw young people to participate in the march in large numbers, having began his journey from Ankara to Istanbul on foot last Thursday and saying the act was in the name of justice, in response to the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu who was charged for spying. The number of people continuing the march has also declined.
Speaking at the start of the fifth day of the march, Kılıçdaroğlu said that he is seeking justice and universal rights for everyone. "We are walking for this purpose. We do not seek to harm anyone. We are not saying anything inappropriate to anyone," he asserted, adding that he wants all Turkish citizens to live together in peace.
Stressing that he will continue the march with determination and resolution, Kılıçdaroğlu said: "There may be those attacking us, criticizing us and intimidating us. It's all okay. I will walk for justice with tenacity, determination and resolution for the sake of [Turkey's] 80 million [citizens]."
As Kılıçdaroğlu vows to continue his march no matter what, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the opposition leader, claiming he is obstructing justice by opposing a legal decision and is failing to support the separation of powers.
"How can we expect justice from the judiciary if they are under such pressure?" Erdoğan asked, asserting that waving banners purporting justice will not result in such.
Referring to Article 138 of the Turkish Constitution which states that "[N]o organ, authority, office or individual may give orders or instructions to the courts or judges regarding the exercising of judicial power, nor may they send them circulars, or make recommendations or suggestions," Erdoğan said that Kılıçdaroğlu is clearly violating the law.
Meanwhile, a CHP supporter died from a suspected heart attack during the march. Hasan Tatlı, 69, from Ankara's Mamak district, suffered a heart attack on Sunday in Kahramankazan, a town 34 kilometers north of the capital.
Tatlı received medical attention at the scene before being taken to Kazan State Hospital and later to Ankara's Numune Training and Research Hospital.
A hospital official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said Tatlı died in the intensive care unit on Monday.
Kılıçdaroğlu plans to complete the 450-kilometer walk from the capital to the Maltepe Prison in Istanbul, where Berberoğlu is being held, in 24 days.