Why is the CHP always defeated in elections against the AKP?
I have recently come across Turkish author Gürbüz Evren’s book “Millet CHP diyecek (mi?),” which questions whether or not the Turkish nation will choose the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the forthcoming elections.
An excerpt at the beginning of the book from Chinese military general Sun Tzu, who lived 2,500 years ago, articulates my exact feelings about many things I want to say.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle,” says Sun Tzu.
We need to ask first the CHP’s Istanbul organization and then its headquarters why they are always being defeated in elections against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has singlehandedly ruled the country for 15 years.
Succeeding in doing anything effective is difficult because the AKP upends politics. You cannot act like there aren’t two very important elections coming up.
The brilliant ‘bee ambassador’ woman
Daily Hürriyet columnist Yonca Tokbaş is the founder of the unique “Anatolian Bees Project.” She told me about her love for bees, an issue she has been busy with for the last eight years and working on for the past four years. They give “Bee Love” trainings to young people at the Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG). Youth from all over Turkey are coming to receive this training. They see problems surrounding the issue and raise awareness on the bees.
It was when one day she planted a banana tree in her garden in the Aegean resort of Bodrum’s Yalıkavak bay she decided to launch the project. She saw that the tree was drawing many bees and started to watch them for days and eventually witnessed what she called the “bee miracle.”
“If there are no bees, bananas are picked in bulk and they cannot grow,” she said.
She has learnt that across the world bees can be in danger of dying with their colonies or fall ill.
“When a person gets to know another living being, they defeat their fear. They empathize, and love starts. And if they love them, they also start making something for them,” she said.
She says she wants to become a bee ambassador for the Middle East, the Balkans and Turkey.
“Until now, we carried out three ‘Bee Love’ trainings with the support of sponsors and fast donations. The first one was with 36 young people from TOG at the Mathematics Village of Prof. Ali Nesin in the town of Şirince in the Aegean province of İzmir. The second one was along the Bafa Lake, the largest lake in the Aegean region, with 37 young people. And last month, we organized the training for 24 young people in the southern province of Adana’s Kozan district,” she said.
She gave beautiful examples of the actions they took after these trainings.
“The young people of TOG prepared banners at Istanbul’s Koç University cafeteria in order to raise awareness of bees and their role in the production of vegetables and fruits. Again at Koç University, they made seed bombs from plants that bees love and spread them to nature. They also created a garden with the flowers that bees love together with the Koç University Permaculture Initiative," she said.
She says the feedbacks she receives about this issue are impressive and touching.