New love of the old right
KORAY ÇALIŞKANThe fact that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is the sole representative of the center right has pushed the secular rightists down a dead-end. Their grassroots diminished. Their power was gone. They have been disbanded politically.
While even bugs were not interested in their fast decaying bodies, the peace process has rejuvenated them. “We wonder,” they said, “if we can finalize this major fragmentation. Could peace mean opportunity in a foreign language?”
Let me remind those who ask which fragmentation. The multi-party life in Turkey was only able to be launched with the halving in two of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). The regime was able to maintain its anti-democrat feature thanks to this. The fragmentation we know as DP (Democrat Party) and CHP has been constructed over the essential union of two policies of similar mentalities.
The CHP we know as a social democrat party today is actually the party that Ecevit has formed. The success it has achieved by winning two consecutive elections is the success of this new party formed with an old name and the success of its ideas.
After the 1980 coup, there was one question for CHP: Should they opt for secularism, support for military tutelage and nationalist right, or the social democrat left? The best example of this was given by Deniz Baykal. He first dashed to the left with İsmail Cem, then to the right with one-man ultra-nationalism to end up, in the end, an anchor for eternal main opposition.
The period between 2008 and 2018 will thoroughly be analyzed by political historians. We do not yet know if a new one will start or not, but the military tutelage is ending. We do not know if it will succeed, but the Kurdish issue is on its way to a solution. If it succeeds, our children will grow up in a new Turkey.
These developments cause dizziness among secular rightists and nationalists. This situation stems from political impact; a portion of the central right is pushed to begin new quests.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) does not embrace them. Even if it did, they would not go to the MHP. Their background and their culture are not in accordance with this emergency nationalism. Then where do they turn their eyes to? To the old partner, CHP.
Hüsamettin Cindoruk can deliver speeches explaining to the CHP what it should do. Hasan Celal Güzel drafts texts arm in arm with Cindoruk, implicitly supporting the CHP. By stirring up secular right and ultra nationalist sentiment, they are able to make political flirtations with a yearning for the Kemalist rhetoric.
Let’s go further. Old politicians, who need company even while going to the toilet, are now able to say, “if the term Turkish citizen is removed from the constitution, then I will become a guerrilla and hit the mountains.” We are talking about people who cannot climb to the second floor unless there is an elevator, those who cannot go to the market without a driver…
The new object of desire is indeed the CHP for the secular right. They are secretly telling themselves, from the inside, “Why did we ever go through a fragmentation of DP-CHP? We could have reached these days hand in hand, in perfect harmony.”
On the one hand, the social democrats and Kılıçdaroğlu are trying to organize an Ecevit-style popular social democracy. On the other hand, the ultra-nationalists are trying to topple Kılıçdaroğlu.
What can possibly happen? While the original exists, nobody would vote for the fake one. CHP cannot go anywhere with the new love of the old right.
Koray Çalışkan is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece appeared on April 12. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.
KORAY ÇALIŞKAN - firstname.lastname@example.org