Segmenting the CHP with Dersim

Segmenting the CHP with Dersim


It should be accepted that the Dersim debate did not start with opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Tunceli Deputy Hüseyin Aygün, but with those people who regard themselves as “strictly” Kemalist.

Another CHP deputy, Onur Öymen’s reference to the “Dersim method” while fighting with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was being scratched constantly by those “circles who cannot have enough of opposing the CHP.”

These same circles who had never expressed any concern in the past for Dersim or the Alevis reactivated after Aygün made his first move in Parliament with Dersim. Somehow, for whatever reason, Aygün’s statement was published Nov. 10, 11 days after it was said, and 12 deputies who regarded themselves as strict “Kemalists” rose up. I challenge that if that uprising did not happen, the debate would have not come to this point. Atatürk was criticized more

Because it was what those “who cannot have enough of opposing the CHP” have been yearning for.

Also Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, after the 12 deputies rose up, hit the ball with the toughest vigor with the hope of segmenting the CHP and dragging Kılıçdaroğlu down the cliff.

 After the prime minister’s kick, since Atatürk has been criticized more, the result must have been on the direction that the “strict” Kemalists had wanted!

This was not enough, and those grandsons of those who took the Dersim decision who are now CHP deputies have uttered such words that they have demonstrated they have no political views, and also they have put their grandfathers in an even more difficult situation: They have signed gaffs on behalf of the CHP.

A victim of the issue and also a person who knows it best, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was not able to direct his party well in this process with his “flying expressions” instead of well coordinated statements.

It was not well understood what his aim was when he took the topic to the level of “domestic clash” warning and also to the point of “the actual apology must be delivered by the president” instead of supporting the prime minister’s apology and completing the missing parts. Also instead of sharing his knowledge with the public, he challenged the prime minister to a televised debate.

This scene at the CHP empowers those who say “Let the civil war in the CHP never end.”

I guess the ruling party circles also, somehow, prefer a segmented CHP.

Because of this preference, the Dersim debate totally develops over political calculations, whereas the apology of the prime minister was a new hope for Anatolia.

Those sentences that force an ‘only if’

This hope was the start of leaving aside all separations, grudges and rages on the Anatolian geography, opening the way to a permanent peace.

I believe if Erdoğan, a few sentences after his words of apology, had not voiced that the judges who had sentenced him were Alevis (How did those words get there? Who put them there, I wonder?), he would have had a very plausible image.

Let alone the fact that Erdoğan has researched the sects of these judges, his repetition of those words he had used in election town square meetings was considered a sign there was nothing new, no confrontation of the conservative world toward the Alevis.

Even though some have skipped over that particular statement of Erdoğan, nevertheless it was rerecorded in the minds of the interlocutors of Alevis and those from Dersim. And CHP spokespersons have voiced this.

CHP Deputy Sabahat Akkiraz, who is an Alevi, has asked Erdoğan, “How many governors are Alevi? District governors, heads of security? How many Alevi top level bureaucrats are there?”

Was Kılıçdaroğlu’s “domestic clash” expression a reference to the risk of an Alevi coming out and saying, “Those judges who sentenced me were from such and such sect”?

In fact, a dangerous course is possible; for this reason both Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu must carry the Dersim debate out of calculations for votes and political interests.

Unless this is done, the CHP might be held in the internal conflict environment more and the government might have some gains from this situation, but this would not bring a strong democracy.

All right, CHP has many sources feeding this platform, but there is no mono-block and more importantly no new name to exceed Kılıçdaroğlu. Also, it is very natural that disproportional charge on the CHP interlocks the grassroots.

Şükrü Küçükşahin is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece appeared Nov. 28. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.