Skip to main content

Turkish opposition struggles to unite amid government crackdown

In response to the arrest of one of its deputies, leader of Turkey’s secular opposition party Kemal Kilicdaroglu called for a popular march, but the protest move isn't distracting critics from his timid response to the president's increasing authoritarianism and fraud allegations.
A demonstrator chants slogans during a protest against detention of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Enis Berberoglu, in Istanbul, Turkey June 15, 2017. The placard reads "Justice". REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTS176U2

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) staged mass rallies on June 15, the day after one of its deputies, Enis Berberoglu, received a 25-year prison sentence for revealing state secrets. Berberoglu, a journalist by profession and former editor-in-chief of Hurriyet, the country’s largest newspaper, was immediately placed in custody and taken to Maltepe Prison in Istanbul.

Although he is the first CHP deputy to be imprisoned in 15 years of Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule, Berberoglu joins about a dozen other primarily Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies who are serving prison terms, including co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.