Main opposition CHP hosts Socialist International

Main opposition CHP hosts Socialist International

Main opposition CHP hosts Socialist International

CHP Deputy Chairs Faruk Loğoğlu and Umut Oran speak during press conference. AA Photo

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will host a two-day Socialist International (SI) council meeting next week in Istanbul, while extending an invitation to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to share his “broad experiences” of the Gezi Park protests.

“The Socialist International Council Meeting hosted by the CHP will take place in Istanbul on Nov. 11 and 12. As we will discuss the Gezi Park protests at the opening of the meeting, it would be very useful for us if you were to share your broad experience on this issue,” the CHP said in a tongue-in-cheek invitation sent to Erdoğan on Nov. 8 by CHP Deputy Chair Umut Oran.

“Mr. Prime Minister has previously argued that his party should be accepted into the Socialist International after conducting an international campaign for the expulsion of the CHP from the organization. We have invited him to the socialist summit; maybe he can learn something about social democracy in this manner,” Oran told a press conference on Nov. 8.

“During our discussions about the Gezi Park protests, he can take the floor as he was the main party in the instigation of the protests,” Oran said, warning Erdoğan to be “prepared” if he decides to appear at the SI meeting.

“Participants of the meeting would ask Erdoğan how he could have labeled young people demanding democracy as ‘marauders, terrorists and marginal’ groups. They would ask why he instructed police to use force disproportionately toward the demonstrators,” Oran said.

Oran said the Istanbul meeting would be like a “Davos forum on social democracy.”

The event will bring together heads of government, leaders and delegates from SI member parties alongside invited guests.

Civil society organizations will make a presentation about the Gezi unrest at the morning session of the first day of the meeting. In the afternoon, three panels will be held under the themes of “Current crises related to the struggles for democracy, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and conflicts threatening peace and security,” and “Reaffirming the center-left vision for the global economy with an emphasis on growth, jobs and equality, and for a new development agenda.”

SI President George Papandreou, SI Secretary-General Luis Ayala and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who is also the vice-president of the SI, will deliver speeches at the opening of the meeting. On the second day, a final declaration of the meeting will be announced, while the date of the next council meeting will also be decided.

In further comments, Oran said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would split into two parties “after a defeat in the March 2014 local elections.” “I’m declaring here, reasonable people within the AKP will say ‘That’s too much’ and found a new party in April or May [2014],” Oran said.

The CHP previously hosted a special SI committee meeting in Istanbul in March 2012 in order to discuss the Arab Spring.