What remains after May Day are violent images in Istanbul. Images of terror that were created by those who took to the streets on the pretext of the ban on May Day demonstrations in Taksim Square indicate serious trouble. Certainly, demonstrating is a right in all democracies. There is a clear distinction between demonstrating and acts that invite insurrection. Unfortunately, particularly over the past three years, those who want to instigate civil war by creating trouble in the streets have poured to the streets with every excuse. This year's excuse was the ban on demonstrations in Taksim Square.
One might criticize the prohibition, but nobody can justify the violence and provocations that were instigated on the pretext of protesting the ban. Indeed, those who set streets on fire, who removed cobblestones and punched each other did not intend to celebrate May Day, but rather, they went out of their homes to stir the streets. Considering the horrible mechanism that aimed to generate violence on May Day, no one can make me believe the tall story that both bandit-like people who ran with axes in their hands in the district of Beşiktaş and people who aimlessly threw stones to damage public property in the Fulya district intended to defend labor rights.
Unfortunately, it is no longer surprising that parliamentarians from the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) almost complemented the vandals in their acts. It was very disturbing that Aykut Erdoğdu, a deputy from the CHP, staged a show and caused damage to a police car by punching it in front of cameras. On top of that, he referred to those who wanted to set the streets on fire as "my people" and tried to break into a police bus. What he did was a provocation in the strictest sense of the word. He asserted that the police harassed detained women in a police bus. He incited people to attack the police and continued his show for a while shouting that the police were breaking the law. It was disgraceful for the CHP to provoke and support such people who went beyond the right to demonstration by overtly terrorizing the streets. Another CHP deputy, Mahmut Tanal, acted in a similar matter.
For quite some time, the CHP seems to be in conflict with the state. Such a situation might not disturb the HDP base that much, but I think the CHP base is the most sensitive one in this regard. The CHP's base will certainly respond to deputies such as the one who called the vandals "my people." I am afraid the CHP's vote will melt away a little more if it insists on this attitude.
Actually, all this stems from the CHP's efforts to change. Driven by this effort, the CHP includes figures such as Aykut Erdoğdu, and even more, it joined hands with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and nominated Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, who essentially differs from the party's ideology, as a presidential candidate during the Aug.10 election. Well, should the CHP really change?
In a democracy it is not a necessity for all parties to have a claim to come to power. In such an equation, the CHP cannot come to power alone no matter what it does. If the CHP embraces its own identity and continues with figures who represent the CHP's line rather than with those who completely go against the party's ideology, at least it will be a party with a certain identity and characteristics. On the one hand, this endeavor to change, leads the CHP to include figures like Erdoğdu, who challenges the state and avoids calling the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) a terrorist organization. On the other hand, it brings its alienation from its own base while trying to appeal to the conservative base.
I believe that the argument that has been reiterated for many years suggesting that the CHP should change creates great pressure on the CHP and harms the party. This argument results in some forced efforts to change rather than a natural change and transformation.