Former CHP leader calls for unity of party
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Deniz Baykal. DAILY NEWS photoThe former leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Deniz Baykal, delivered a message calling for unity at a closed-door party meeting on Feb. 12, calling on his fellows to align against “outside attempts to create divisions within the CHP.”
“As the CHP, we are both reformist and nationalist at the same time. Some circles aim to show the CHP as divided and disintegrated, but we should not allow this,” Baykal was quoted by party sources as saying in his address to the CHP’s parliamentary group.
The meeting was held at the request of Baykal, who is serving as an Antalya lawmaker at the moment. Over 110 of 134 CHP lawmakers attended the session, but party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was not in attendance.
“I spoke about the importance and the value of the CHP. We have to tell this to Turkey as well. The CHP is the anchor point of Turkey within this atmosphere, it should perform its function and its role,” Baykal said after the meeting.
Last month, the CHP was hit by turmoil when a nationalist CHP lawmaker said that “Kurdish nationality” and the “Turkish nation” could not be considered “equal,” resulting in the resignation of a Kurdish deputy. Many reports have since suggested that there is a deep division between the reformist and nationalist groups within the CHP. Baykal stressed that CHP members should respect everyone’s ethnic identity and should defend the equality of all citizens. “There’s no hierarchy among ethnic identities,” he said, according to sources.