Aygün case a hot potato in hands of CHP’s Kılıçdaroğlu

Aygün case a hot potato in hands of CHP’s Kılıçdaroğlu

URUMQI, China - Hurriyet Daily News
Aygün case a hot potato in hands of CHP’s Kılıçdaroğlu

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu says there are no problems within the party. AA photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman returned from China late Jan. 18 amid questions that have swirled around a CHP deputy who visited the family of a murdered member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Although thousands of miles away, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was frequently asked about what action he might take against Tunceli deputy Hüseyin Aygün after the latter paid a visit of condolence to the family of Sakine Cansız, one of three Kurdish women killed in Paris last week. In Kılıçdaroğlu’s absence, there were reports that some nationalist members of the CHP had issued strong statements against Aygün and had campaigned for the resignation of the Tunceli deputy.

“I will first have to be informed about the issue. I will then evaluate it,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during a chat with the media early Jan. 18, echoing his earlier responses to insistent questions on the issue.

He denied that he had put himself in a defensive position following public reaction against Aygün and said statements issued by party officials had been made during press conferences and in response to questions, meaning they were not specifically targeted at Aygün. Kılıçdaroğlu said he was confident that the incident would not create a fresh fault line within the party.

The CHP leader also said he was very happy that the Jan. 17 funeral in Diyarbakır of the three female PKK members killed in Paris passed without any problems amid the public mourning of tens of
Kılıçdaroğlu also mused that the uneventful passing of the funeral might have stemmed from the softening climate due to nascent peace talks with the jailed head of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan. “But it is too early to say something,” he added.

But the main opposition head said he was concerned that the recently launched talks with Öcalan might only be a tactic to secure the 2014 elections. While criticizing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his tough language against the CHP, the party chairman said he did not intend to engage in a new row with the premier. “He is trying to cover his mistakes by attacking the CHP. Criticizing the CHP will not solve the problems of Turkey.”