The CHP’s risks and advantages

The CHP’s risks and advantages

In a meeting organized by the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) İzmir branch, the theme of “İzmir and Turkey after the local elections and presidential elections” was thoroughly analyzed, along with the period ahead of us and its risks and advantages for the CHP.
I joined these sessions both as a panelist and as a moderator. Above anything else, the need for the CHP to act very quickly was highlighted.

The data explained by the general manager of the Konsensus research company, Murat Sarı, imposes very serious duties on all the members of the CHP. Taking the figures into consideration, drastic action is necessary because the hope of coming to power in the CHP's grassroots is alarmingly low.

Women and youth mean enthusiasm 

The CHP administration should address this situation very soon, but how to do it? Sarı, the academics and the CHP administrators, all made important points. 

The detailed voter survey disclosed by CHP Deputy Chair Sencer Ayata, who is a professor of sociology, showed the following: The CHP is able to receive more votes than other parties from the young and from yellow-collared workers. However, since transitivity is gradually decreasing, votes do not grow on trees anymore. The challenges of the CHP and the sign of what its aim should be are here.

“We must show that we prioritize development,” said new CHP Deputy Chair Selin Sayek Böke, which was also very important.

While Böke was saying development and votes go hand in hand, Ayata noted that research showed that only a developmentalist CHP could receive enough votes to achieve power.

Böke referred to Professor İlhan Tekeli’s argument that “an illusion is now being experienced in Turkey” regarding development, supporting it with the figures of the AKP era. But she also listed successful current practices.

Looking at the response to it in the conference hall, I can say that Böke’s presentation inspired what Tekeli said was missing in the CHP, "enthusiasm."

That enthusiasm was the result of Böke’s identity, of her being young and female. The CHP administration must interpret this accurately.

Words of advice

After Böke, the floor was taken by fellow CHP Deputy Chair Bülent Şenatalar, who he made serious self-criticisms from İzmir in several fields such as the Kurdish issue, the view toward the military, education in mother tongue, the Kurdish-language state TV station TRT Şeş, Alevis, women and youth.

The emphasis on women and the youth made by İzmir Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu and CHP Provincial Organization Head Ali Ergin, especially the mayor’s words of “If it weren’t for women in İzmir there would have been no victory” should carefully be noted.

Ersin Kalaycıoğlu’s stress on authoritarianism in Turkey and his call for the CHP to “strengthen" for the sake of democracy and the health of the parliamentary system is one that nobody can object to.

In the end, these summarized words from Professor İlter Turan are words of advice for every CHP member: “The way to power passes through believing that your are an alternative, and this comes from forming an coalition. A coalition, on the other hand, also means accepting some unwanted things, because one has to think toward aims, instead of toward tools.”