CHP debates have a bittersweet taste
Şükrü Küçükşahinİzmir deputy Birgül Ayman Güler uttered a statement; the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) went through a crisis. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu delivered a speech after this and for some, this was an adjustment.
Now, there is a new question, which is on the size of the effect that speech had on the CHP.
At first glance, the CHP looks as if it will calm down for a while; however, when one goes deeper, it can be felt that the picture still accommodates problems.
Moreover, it can even be said that Kılıçdaroğlu’s speech has started a process where such groups in the CHP who have not yet defined themselves will openly emerge.
Let’s evaluate this by looking at the conclusions the two mainstreams, which are defined by the current classic definitions as “ultranationalist” and “reformist,” draw from the speech.
The ultranationalists, since they considered Güler’s speech in line with the party program, regarded the quotations Kılıçdaroğlu took from the program as “balanced.” Because they found Güler’s style of expression problematic, they agreed with Kılıçdaroğlu’s warning to “Be careful with your words; they may transmit them after twisting them.”
The reformist group, though, are not very satisfied with the speech. They have found that the ideological essence of the speech and the tone of warning to Güler were inadequate, and the dose of “criticizing the media” too much.
The first result of the speech, which I summarized very briefly, is that the reformists in the party are emerging.
The reformists – who believe that they were being kept at a distance from the speaker’s stand at Parliament as a result of the deliberate choice of the CHP Parliamentary group administration in support of the ultranationalists – will now act collectively, show more resistance and take the floor more. I think, to this end, they have convened a few times after the last crisis.
Indeed, the ultranationalists also had a similar stance and continued to convene.
If they are sincere in their discourses
How many groups will form in the CHP and what will their powers be, are good questions; however, it is apparent that from socialists to ultranationalists, from liberals to social democrats, from center-right to nationalist-right, there are many names in this wide spectrum.
This picture should be seen as a natural one in a social democratic party as long as the integrity of the party is maintained and the discourse is kept within the party program.
However, in Turkey, a country that has experienced major changes in recent years, three highly critical elections will be held consecutively in two years.
According to the CHP administration, the governing party will seek to divide the CHP in these two years.
In a speech to his party, Kılıçdaroğlu argued that the media, which he criticized excessively, would be used for this purpose. He warned his friends to “be truly careful.”
But, it is clear that this is not adequate. If they want to control the government and for this reason want to prevent external attacks, then delicate formulas to balance internal party groups should be found.
Well, it has been only a few days and a “boasting contest” has been experienced between Parliamentary deputy group chairman Muharrem İnce and deputy chair of the party Sezgin Tanrikulu, both seen as assimilated with the two groups, on who is the host and who is the guest in the CHP.
For two days, I have spoken to many people in both wings; all of them say they sincerely do not want even one expulsion from the CHP.
If so, then they should be able to see that in Turkey, new gigantic power groups are being formed that are able to shake the CHP at any moment. Seeing that, they should demonstrate the skills to shut their doors on them.
Also, it should be well known that the highest cost will be paid if not only Kılıçdaroğlu, but even one deputy shows the smallest incompetence.
Şükrü Küçükşahin is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Jan. 31. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.
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