Today, Turkey’s main opposition party will begin a five-day “justice congress” to highlight President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increased authoritarianism. The
Today, Turkey’s main opposition party will begin a five-day “justice congress” to highlight President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increased authoritarianism. The congress follows the success of a 25-day “justice march” in June, also orchestrated by the centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Ostensibly, today’s event will focus on Mr Erdogan’s post-coup crackdown. Participants will be asked to lay bricks, each inscribed with the name of a victim of ‘injustice’; organisers expecting some 100,000 bricks to be laid.
Beyond symbolism, the CHP will use the congress to extend a hand of cooperation to other opposition parties, particularly the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party—themselves a victim of the post-coup crackdown. Leader Selahattin Demirtas was arrested last November, joining 11 other party lawmakers behind bars.
But despite attempts at opposition cooperation, Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party remain the most popular political force in Turkey. This was demonstrated in April’s constitutional referendum victory and will be on display again today when the president draws tens of thousands to a mass rally in the eastern town of Malazgirt.