Is Kılıçdaroğlu or Gülseren Onanç right?

Is Kılıçdaroğlu or Gülseren Onanç right?

Based on main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s asking for the resignation of parliamentary deputy and deputy chairperson Gülseren Onanç, there are some who say the ultranationalist-reformist fight within the party is deepening. An image of a party which is divided, where they have drawn their swords on each other is being fueled. However, this is not a concise interpretation. First of all, there is no such fight at the CHP. There are indeed occasional tensions and clashes of ideas. This is how mass parties survive.

Certain deputies are being dragged through the mud because they are rightists, but it is being forgotten that they say the same as European social democracy says on freedom of sexual orientation or on conscientious objection. The difference is being exaggerated.

Isn’t there a difference? Of course there is. And there is a lot of difference. However, comparing the Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) Erzurum Deputy Muhyettin Aksak, who has suggested that the state-run radio and television (TRT) should say, instead of “died,” for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members, “pegged out,” with the ultranationalists of the CHP, the latter looks liberal.

A bad example is not an example. There are serious differences between the ultranationalists and reformists in the CHP, as well as tension. However, these are not separate political excitements of separate worlds. They are colors allowed in the CHP party program.

Well, does the color of the reformists fade because of these colors? If it were so, then Dilek Akagündüz Yılmaz, who called Sezgin Tanrıkulu a “CIA agent” at a parliamentary group meeting, would have been rewarded, and she would be praised to the skies, instead of being referred to the disciplinary committee. That did not happen. She will receive a serious punishment that could lead to expulsion from the party.

Well, what about Onanç?

Gülseren Onanç is also a deputy chair. She is a party administrator. Everything she says and does are what Kılıçdaroğlu approves and is binding for the party.

Let’s not dig into other issues. For example, the speech of Onanç in which she implied that Kılıçdaroğlu was not very popular could be regarded as extreme truthfulness. However, the step she took two days before her resignation is a different page.

Columnist Ahmet İnsel wrote in daily Radikal the other day that “the CHP has fallen into traps,” that it was in panic, that it was “demonstrating the image of a party that was paralyzed due to failure, hate and bewilderment,” also that “certain political attitudes were pathetic.” İnsel also wrote about the “desperate and vain image” of Kılıçdaroğlu. He also depicted that “the number of bulls within the CHP who would attack desperately the red cape in the hands of matador [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan is not very small.” İnsel also said the CHP was “wallowing in the trap set up by its rival.”

If you are a deputy chairperson of the CHP, then it is not possible for you to digest such an analysis. Dear Gülseren Onanç, though, tweeted this analysis, moreover she wrote to Eyüp Can from Twitter that “I am exerting great effort to prevent this.”

A deputy chairperson of the CHP, in charge of public affairs, cannot accept an analysis that depicts the CHP as a naïve actor who would easily fall into a trap. Onanç, instead of correcting the libelous expressions and defending her party, was almost congratulating İnsel, who was downright humiliating the CHP in several of his sentences and who is also the founder of another party.

The real problem is here, I guess. İnsel may be right or wrong; that is another issue. If Onanç agrees with the article then she should not be included in the administration of the CHP anyway. If she does not, then she should not tweet it and reject the analysis. For this reason, I acknowledge Kılıçdaroğlu to be right, not Onanç, who is also a friend I respect.

Koray Çalışkan is a columnist for daily Radikal, in which this piece appeared on April 19. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.