Civil resistance to Erdogan dictatorship moves

Civil resistance is mounting to the consolidating dictatorship in Turkey, with thousands marching from Ankara to Istanbul, and protests emerging to Presdient Recep Tayyip Erdogan's power-grab. The 450-kilometer cross-country march is now in its 20th day, led by banners reading "Adalet!" (Justice!) The movement began when Enis Berberoglu, an opposition MP from the Republican People's Party (CHP), was arrested for allegedly leaking documents purporting to reveal that the Turkish government is arming jihadists in Syria. It has swelled into a general expression of opposition to the arrests and purges that have unfolded in Turkey since last year's attempted coup.

In Ankara, authorities have issued a ban on demonstrations in support of hunger strikers Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who have now not eaten for 118 days. The two were already on hunger strike to protest their dismissal from their teaching positions in the post-coup purge before they were arrested on "terrorism" charges on May 23. Gülmen was fired from Konya Selçuk University for her alleged ties to the opposition Gülen movement. Özakça was a teacher at a primary school in eastern Mardin province before he was purged over ties to a "terrorist" organization. Their attorney has expressed grave concern for their health.

Since the failed coup of July 2016, over 50,000 have been detained and 140,000 dismissed or suspended. (BBC News, CNN, The Guardian, BIANet, July 5; Turkey Purge, June 16)