Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), has called on his supporters to join a mega rally that his party will hold in Istanbul's Maltepe district on May 21.
In a video shared on his Twitter account, İmamoğlu said that if justice does not prevail in Turkey, none of the country's major problems can be solved.
“Dear people, if the nation's voice does not rise, those in the rulership think that the only right voice is their own voice. If the nation's voice does not rise, those in the rulership think that they are the owners of the country. The nation's voice will rise. Everyone will speak; everyone will criticize,” İmamoğlu said in the video.
“There is so much injustice in this country, in the economy, in education, in the judiciary, on the street, in the state; unfortunately injustice is everywhere....Let's meet at 6 p.m. this Saturday [on May 21] in Maltepe at the rally, which will be held with the participation of [CHP chair] Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu who is the courageous leader of rights, law and justice,” İmamoğlu said.
Milletin Sesi Maltepe’den yükselecek.— Ekrem İmamoğlu (@ekrem_imamoglu) May 20, 2022
Genel Başkanımız Sayın Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’nun katılımıyla herkes için hak, hukuk ve adalet isteyeceğimiz buluşmamız Cumartesi 18.00’de Maltepe Miting Alanı’nda pic.twitter.com/LYmDQTVQZc
The rally named “Voice of the Nation” comes amid national and international criticism over an almost five-year jail term given to CHP Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu.
The Court of Cassation, Turkey's highest court of appeals, last week found Kaftancıoğlu guilty of “insulting a public official,” “explicitly degrading the Turkish Republic” and "insulting the president" and upheld her sentence in three separate cases.
Kaftancıoğlu is often credited as the person behind İmamoğlu's election success in the 2019 local elections. The CHP’s victory in the megacity had ended the 25 year-rule of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its predecessor Welfare (“Refah”) Party.