Intra-party crisis in opposition deepens

Intra-party crisis in opposition deepens

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Intra-party crisis in opposition deepens

The CHP has confirmed that the procedure for Salih Fırat’s resignation was officially launched. DHA photo

A party crisis in the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is deepening as CHP Adıyaman deputy Salih Fırat announced Jan. 25 that he would resign despite calls from the party administration to withdraw his resignation.

“I assure everybody that my resignation is not connected with single statement or person. There has been a long process that led me to resign,” Fırat said in a written statement.

The latest internal turmoil within the main opposition party occurred when CHP İzmir lawmaker Birgül Ayman Güler said she did not consider the “Turkish nation” and “Kurdish nationality” to be equals, during parliamentary discussions about a draft law extending the scope of mother tongue defense late on Jan. 23.

Following Güler’s remarks, Fırat announced his “necessary” resignation from his party on Jan. 24, describing Güler’s statements as one of the reasons behind his decision.

Shocked by Fırat’s resignation, the party administration promptly made efforts to convince him to reverse his decision. CHP officials reportedly requested that the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office hold Fırat’s resignation petition. However, late on Jan. 25, the party confirmed that the procedure for Fırat’s resignation was officially launched.

The CHP officials had previously said party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu would meet with Fırat to convince him to reconsider his decision, but the CHP leader met with Güler at party headquarters that day. Following the meeting, Güler told reporters that she was not considering resigning from the party. “There’s not a situation for me to resign from my party,” Güler said, adding that she had not received a “warning” from Kılıçdaroğlu.

Fırat broke his silence later on Jan. 25 by issuing a press statement saying he would remain in Parliament as an independent deputy.