The new and the old CHP fights

The new and the old CHP fights

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The new and the old CHP fights

This file photo shows group meeting of Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies in the Turkish parliament. AA Photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is holding its full-scale congress on July 18-19.

The leader and the 60-member party assembly will be elected at the congress, and Kılıçdardoğlu is expected to have no rivals in the leadership election. With this in mind, the inner party opposition will only compete in the party assembly elections.

The reason for the main fight within the CHP are based on ideological principles. Kılıçdaroğlu and his team, defending a “new CHP,” are dropping one by one the policies created over nearly 20 years by the duo of Baykal-Sav. From solving the Kurdish issue to secularism, democracy, the republic, freedoms and public administration, several “status quo” policies in many fields are being abandoned. In their place, a prioritizing of democracy and adopting a Western-style democracy is being highlighted, which puts the individual ahead of the state at the center. The CHP’s old wing – or, in other words, the nationalist wing -- harshly criticizes these approaches. They accuse the party administration of adopting the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) policies and of “shifting the axis of the CHP.”

They claim that the “CHP’s red lines have been abandone” and that the party has been steered away from its main artery of “Kemalism, nationalism and republicanism.” They interpret the fact that Kılıçdaroğlu has sat at the table with Erdoğan to solve the Kurdish issue as “the last straw.”

This major resistance of the opposition will also be reflected in the congress. The opponents have not yet reached a level where they can nominate a candidate for leading the party. For this reason, they will be forming several alliances in the congress to have their members elected to the party assembly.

Their biggest advantage is that the party assembly election will be made with “open lists.” In a “block list” or a “closed list” it would have been very difficult to infiltrate into the leader’s list. In an open list, however, even if the leader proposes a “key list” the opposition can infiltrate into the leader’s list and have their members elected to the party assembly, if it is well organized. The Baykal-Sav twosome, known as experts in winning congresses, may be able to infiltrate the list for the party assembly if they can get Gürsel Tekin on their side, a name who is still influential on Istanbul and Anatolia delegates.

Now, all the calculations are being done based on this game plan.

No doubt, Kılıçdaroğlu will come out as party leader from the elections. He will also be able to form the majority of the party assembly with the names he has determined. However, the opposition also wants to show its presence and send a warning with this move of theirs.

Can there be any breakaway from the names known as ultra-nationalists after the congress?

It is known that recently a deputy, fed up with party policies, wanted to resign but was stopped by Baykal. There could also be individual resignations after the congress. For example, Mersin Deputy İsa Gök may start searching for a new party. There are signals in that direction.

Kılıçdaroğlu will prepare for the 2014 local elections with a party assembly that has his signature for the first time. The result he obtains in those elections will be influential regarding under whose leadership the CHP will prepare for the general elections in 2015. The opposition looks as if it will not be engaged in a leadership search until that day. For this reason, it is not realistic to expect mass, major breakaways from the CHP in the short term.

DNA test for Dersim girls

The Parliamentary Petition subcommittee researching the 1938 Dersim incidents is currently hearing evidence from surviving witnesses. Among the witnesses are the “lost girls of Dersim.” These are the ones who were ripped away from their families and given to military bureaucrats for adoption.

Dürdane Acar from the inland Black Sea town of Tokat is one of them. She met with Erdal Karakoç from the Eastern Anatolian town of Tunceli two years ago, through a documentary shooting.

Information from the past makes them suspect that they are relatives, but they cannot be sure. For this reason, Karakoç is demanding that the commission assists in a DNA test. If there is a positive decision on the DNA tests, then the girls will be able to meet their real families, even after 70 years.

Possible complaint against james Bond

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay has answered a parliamentary question filed by CHP Istanbul Deputy Ali Özgündüz about the latest James Bond film’s (Skyfall) shooting on the roof of the Covered Bazaar. Günay said he was waiting for the results of an ongoing investigation. Depending on the outcome, a criminal complaint might be filed, Günay said. “If there is only minor damage, then it will be repaired under the supervision of the rotective board. If not, then a criminal complaint will be filed about the related parties.”

If a criminal complaint is filed, perhaps Turkey will make history by making the producers of James Bond pay a huge amount of compensation.