Main opposition CHP slams gov’t over democratization process

Main opposition CHP slams gov’t over democratization process

Main opposition CHP slams gov’t over democratization process

The Republican People’s Party leader Kılıçdaroğlu and other party officials attend the party’s 90th anniversary. AA Photo

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) celebrated its 90th anniversary with a reception held on Sept. 9, at which party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said a Turkey without the CHP would be “no different to hell,” criticizing the government over its reluctance to proceed with the process of democratization.

“A Turkey without the Republican People’s Party would be the synonym of hell. Remove the CHP for a moment and there would be nothing left from our existence and history. The CHP means being Mustafa Kemal Atatürk,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to the founder of the party and the Republic of Turkey.

“Today, our citizens’ varying political views and thoughts maintain a sense of confidence thanks to the existence of the CHP. This confidence in the CHP, the party of establishment and liberation, is not in vain. Because the CHP believes in the independence of the Turkish people’s will and their love of freedom,” he said in his opening speech during the ceremony at the CHP headquarters in Ankara.

Difficult to express the CHP: Kılıçdaroğlu

Kılıçdaroğlu also made various literary references in the speech. “As Nazım [Nazım Hikmet, Turkish poet] said ‘Can you paint a picture of happiness, Abidin [Abidin Dino, Turkish painter]?’ It is very difficult to express some things like romance, longing and love. Certain words and concepts are as difficult to express as expressing many things in life, just like the CHP,” he said.

The CHP head quoted Ahmet Arif while expressing the difficulty in explaining his party. “At the end of his poem, the wise poet [Arif] expresses his feelings in such a beautiful way, saying: ‘I wish I could describe you / your absence is the other name of hell.’ Probably, this the only way that we can describe how Turkey without the CHP would be like,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

He then went on to quote Atatürk, who once said, “I have two great achievements: one is the Republic of Turkey and the other is the Republican People’s Party.”

When asked whether they would support a “democratization package,” Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated that there was already a democratization package that had been prepared by his party and subsequently presented to the Office of the Speaker of the Parliament.

“All of this was compiled in a booklet. Therefore, if there are proposals in accordance with our democratization package, we will naturally support them. However, should there be any regulations that conflict with our model, we will make sure to inform the public as to why we object,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

After his speech, he invited the oldest party member, 105-year-old Gülizar Karafakıoğlu, and the youngest member, 18-year-old Melis Kaderoğlu, to the podium. Drawing attention to the fact that the oldest and the youngest members were women, Kılıçdaroğlu said he was proud of them, after kissing their hands.