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Turkish Opposition Launches Congress To Highlight Injustices

Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu walks with a placard reading "Justice" during a protest march in Ankara in June.

Turkey's main opposition party has launched a "Justice Congress" to highlight alleged injustices under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), addressed thousands of people who had gathered for the open-air event in the northwestern province of Canakkale on August 26.

"Eighty million have a thirst for justice," Kilicdaroglu told the crowd, referring to Turkey's population.

The four-day congress is intended to build momentum to challenge Erdogan ahead of elections in 2019.

The congress comes after Kilicdaroglu and other opposition leaders held a 25-day, 450-kilometer pro-democracy march that ended in July.

The marchers voiced anger over the government crackdown following a failed coup in July 2016.

Around 50,000 people have been arrested under Turkey's state of emergency, imposed after the failed coup, and another 100,000 have been fired, including teachers, judges, soldiers, and police officers.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa