Main opposition CHP feels sorrow for UK’s Labour
Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARA
AA PhotoTurkey’s social democrat party has expressed sorrow over the defeat of Labour and its leader, Ed Miliband, in last week’s elections in the United Kingdom, citing the Conservative party’s use of nationalist rhetoric as an important reason of the failure.
“I felt regret [about the results of the elections],” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) told the Daily News May 10, who himself is also running for parliamentary elections slated for June 7.
The elections in the UK have been heavily contemplated by Turkey’s public and political circles, not only because of the Tories’ unexpected victory but also because of all three oppositional party leaders’ resignations.
On the defeat of Labour, Kılıçdaroğlu said he was informed that the Conservatives’ increased use of nationalist rhetoric in the campaign had caused Labour and Miliband to lose the polls. “Plus, it seems Labour was not sufficiently ready for the polls,” the CHP chief said, adding that the Scottish National Party (SNP) had divided leftist votes in the United Kingdom.
Citing how public opinion surveys failed to make reliable estimations in the U.K. polls, Kılıçdaroğlu said he believed that the same inconsistencies will happen in Turkey, but to the advantage of the social democrat party.
When asked about his assessment on Miliband and other leaders’ resignation, Kılıçdaroğlu said “Ethically, political party leaders who get lesser votes than the previous elections should normally quit politics.” The CHP leader said this would also pave the way for the appearance of new figures in politics, underlining that politics should not be based on individuals.
Turkey a trouble-maker in the Middle East
In my long conversation with Kılıçdaroğlu, he cited the collapse of foreign policy at the hands of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) as one of the most important damages this government had inflicted on Turkey and a primary reason why Turkey needs a new government.
Because of the foreign policy of this government, Turkey has become a part of the problems of the Middle East and ruined the country’s ties with important regional countries such as Egypt, Israel, Syria, Libya and others. Kılıçdaroğlu said, “The AKP’s chance to mend ties with these countries is zero. That’s why Turkey needs a new government: to reconcile and become one of fundamental actors of peace in the Middle East.”
Turkey’s drifting away from contemporary world is also worrisome for Western partners of the country. He said, “They are also questioning where Turkey is heading to.”
Turkey misses big opportunities
The mentality of those in the government that reversed democratic achievements not only caused failures in foreign policy but also in the economy, according to the CHP leader. “Turkey [economically] lost importantly in the last three years. And there are five fundamental reasons,” he said.
He cited these reasons as “poor foreign policy; weakened education system; too many heads in the economy; absence of sound economy politics and implementation of a wrong subsidy system.”
Countries with a poor democratic and rule of law record have difficulty in attracting foreign direct investment, the CHP chief said, adding “Under normal conditions, Turkey has the potential to attract annually $30-40 billion in direct investment because of its geographic advantages. This geography of Turkey would draw this kind of investment if it had a first class democracy.”