(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
ANKARA - Several thousand Turkish protesters marched in the capital Ankara on Thursday to demonstrate against the 25-year prison sentence handed down to an opposition lawmaker on spying charges.
A court on Wednesday sentenced Enis Berberoglu, a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) on charges of giving an opposition newspaper a video purporting to show Turkey's intelligence agency trucking weapons into Syria.
Berberoglu is the first lawmaker from the secular CHP to be jailed since the government crackdown that followed last year's failed coup. More than 50,000 people have been jailed and more than 150,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs in the aftermath of the July 15 attempted putsch.
The leader of the CHP, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has called the decision lawless and politically motivated. On Thursday, he launched a 425 kilometer (265 mile) march from Ankara to the Istanbul jail where Berberoglu is being detained. Party officials said they expect the walk could take the 68-year-old politician at least 20 days.