The fight is in Istanbul
YALÇIN BAYERWhat is happening in political parties when it is eight months before local elections? The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) do not have a loud voice yet. The AKP, which has self-esteem, is working silently. The MHP, the party that does not reveal much of its interior, is hopeless as it always is. Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is active, moreover it has domestic fights. It says it wants to win the metropolises; however, the CHP’s usual confused and unknown policy is inadequate. It can be seen that the CHP has not prepared an effective working program against the AKP’s subtle tactics. While our observations were shaping like this, a caller said, “Watch the CHP closely. You will see what we will do once the month of Ramadan is over.”
Can Ataklı’s attempt to be a candidate for Istanbul Metropolitan mayor would not produce an indicator in the short run. He wants to activate the party. “I want to weigh myself among the public so that I know where I stand. I told Kılıçdaroğlu that I wanted my name, Can Ataklı, to be placed on the list of candidates in August.”
It looks as if the CHP will have difficulty determining its candidate for Istanbul metropolitan mayor.
There are several scenarios being told backstage: “Deniz Baykal will not stand far away from local elections. He will be on the stage. He is contacting several names/deputies. More than Antalya, he wants to ‘tune’ the party domestic forces in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir. He sees İzmir as secure. He is thinking of counterattacks for Melih Gökçek’s games in Ankara, but he is actually preoccupied with Istanbul.” According to Baykal, Istanbul must be won. Well with whom? Will it be with Mustafa Sarıgül or Gürsel Tekin or another name?
Baykal has not gotten along well with Sarıgül in recent years. It was Baykal who brought Gürsel Tekin to the provincial head position when he himself was party chair. For this reason it is obvious he would support Gürsel in his candidacy.
For Baykal to be engaged in Istanbul affairs will definitely make things tough for Kılıçdaroğlu. Even though Kılıçdaroğlu does not openly express it, there are strong indications that he will in the end support Sarıgül.
Backstage it is frequently voiced that Kılıçdaroğlu will invite Sarıgül to the party in September and start the campaign.
The real fight is this: If Gürsel, supported by Baykal, wins the elections, then Kılıçdaroğlu will have a difficult time. If Sarıgül wins, with Kılıçdaroğlu backing him, then Baykal and his friends’ power will weaken to a huge extent.
In either case, the fight in the CHP will not end.
AKP rally in Düsseldorf
The institution that is carrying out the AKP’s European activities named the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) is organizing a rally July 8 in the German city of Düsseldorf. The AKP is working hard across Europe for the rally to be a big one.
There are some questions before this rally. There have been many demonstrations organized simultaneously in Europe during Gezi Park. Were there pictures of Turkish political party leaders at these rallies? In the calls before the rallies, were pictures of political leaders or party emblems used? Except for the AKP. Does this rally have the aim of segmenting Turkish people in Europe? Was the discomfort felt by the German government taken into consideration because of ads and calls for the rally? Is it true that the power and means of the state are being used for this rally? What is the purpose of the culture minister being at this rally?
How can a “Support Democracy” rally be organized in the heart of Europe while four people have died in Turkey during incidents and there are thousands of injured?
Yalçın Bayer is a columnist for daily Hürriyet, in which this piece was published on July 5. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.