The manifesto of Çanakkale: ‘This system will change’

The manifesto of Çanakkale: ‘This system will change’

The panel of “justice in the state” held on the last day of the “justice congress” left a mark on the phase of the congress. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy İlhan Kesici, former Motherland Party (ANAP) Minister Prof. Dr. Yüksel Yalova, theologist and former ANAP Deputy Abdülbaki Erdoğmuş and former deputy and minister Ertuğrul Yalçınbayır, also one of the founders of the Communist Party (KP), underlined how vital and indispensable the concept of justice was. İlhan Kesici said the concept of justice and the campaign had for the first time led to a meaningful appraisal and conveyed his thanks to the CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

“The elections of 2019 will be the mother of all elections held since 1950, it is the most important of all. You will be the winners of 2019, we will be … I am sure of that, I have no doubt,” said Kesici, as he received a big applause from the crowd.

The attendance of 3,000 people who watched the panel held at the most important site of the Çanakkale War (also known as the Battle of Gallipoli), on the forest grounds of the Ecebat Kocadere campsite where the 57th regiment was deployed, was considered amazing, because none of the speakers had originated from the CHP. They had different voices and the sharpest criticism had come from them, but all were of the same opinion that this could be undertaken under the leadership of CHP. Tüzel and Taş were from the social left, excluding the CHP. The others were involved in conservative and center-right politics. In the last period, Kesici did politics in the CHP, but he had begun his career in the center-right as well.

In his speech, Yüksel Yalova touched upon the uniqueness of the justice concept in Turkey, which emerged as a political concept in the country. “I congratulate the CHP chairman who brought the concept to world literature,” he said. During his speech, Yalova gave examples from Turkish history, the old Turkish text of Kutadgu Bilig and the Magna Carta. He concluded his speech with a Latin saying: “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.” 

Tüzel held one of the most interesting speeches of the day. He said all of the opposition powers including the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) should unite under the ground of “Democracy,” against one-party rule. Tüzel said it was a must for this to be put into practice in local elections and that this was Turkey’s key issue. He received an applause from the crowd.

Taş laid emphasis on the concepts of secularism and homeland and said true secularism would also bring freedom to religion. He said today, lands in the Black Sea region had been given over to Qatar sheiks, making the discussion of who is local and national ironic. 

CHP Chair Kılıçdaroğlu was the one who held the closing speech of the congress, who said lastly, the framework of “democracy, justice and peace” was established along with the power that came with it. His final words were, “This system will change,” that is to say, he made a reference to the CHP of the mid-1970s that had a major breakthrough under the leadership of Bülent Ecevit. This slogan had become the slogan of Ecevit and had brought him to power.

‘Those who do not execute justice cannot be pious’

“I should express that as societies in this geography prefer coined religion to authentic religion; ignorance, darkness and heroism to reason, science and knowledge; not only do we pose a threat for the lands we live on and for each other, but also for the world and humanity,” said Erdoğmuş, in his highly striking speech.

After he said “Those who do not carry out justice cannot be pious,” Erdoğmuş cited Martin Luther King’s quote: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” he said.

“We have a state mentality that produces oppression. The path of justice does not go right or left, its only way is conscience,” the former deputy concluded his speech.

Why Çanakkale? What is going to happen after this?

The CHP has conducted its “justice march” within the last two months and held its rally. Afterwards, it held the “justice congress.” Millions became excited and waited for hope. A CHP official said Çanakkale was a conscious decision for the congress, as the area included all fractions of society both ethnically and sociologically, so they had made their choice considering all difficulties. Well, will the CHP retreat to the pasture saying “we have done our job?” Will it continue similar work? Has justice entered Anatolian lands through the Dardanelles Strait or has it not? Time will show this as well …