It's just typical of the Republican People's Party (CHP). Another vote, another disappointing showing for the party leadership, followed by threats to silence intra-party critics. Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said anyone who criticized the party's will, by which he means himself, will be expelled from the party.
The CHP is the oldest political movement in the Republic, and thanks to the current leadership cadre, it is showing its age. It continues to be devoted to dogmas discredited decades ago. Those optimists who are calling for the party to adapt to the 21st century are aware they are set to be disappointed, knowing full well that the CHP is yet to adapt to the end of the Cold War.
Thanks to its own party regulations that curb any sort of intra-party democracy, there are no legitimate ways to democratically replace an unpopular leader. It took a sex tape scandal, not the unending list of electoral defeats, for Kılıçdaroğlu himself to unseat his predecessors.
Since May 2010, Kılıçdaroğlu has overseen defeats in three general elections, two referenda, one presidential election and a municipal election.
The chairman is just the tip of the iceberg. There is also a well-established core that wants nothing but to return Turkey to the good old days of the early Republic.
Any up-and-coming politician that aspires to revitalize the movement by providing it with a vision of modernity has faced the wrath of the CHP establishment. Any contrary voice, e.g. Emine Ülker Tarhan and Süheyb Batum, has been either silenced or expelled.
Kılıçdaroğlu, as a retired civil servant with the vision and ambition to match, did not disappoint those who wanted nothing to change. Lacking any political acumen or experience, he decided to imitate the most successful politician in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. At rallies, he started to recite poems, tried to mimic Erdoğan's style of speech and was surprised when the public failed to respond.
It is those who are happy with the CHP remaining as the perpetual opposition party that supports the continued leadership of Kılıçdaroğlu. However, those who want to provide Turkey with an alternative future, rather than a discredited past, want to replace him.
After spending decades in the wilderness of identity politics based on plainly racist policies and ignoring or oppressing religious people and Kurds, the CHP gives the impression that it wants nothing but to return to an era when what it said mattered. At a time when the majority of the public has progressed beyond simple identity politics and wants parties that tackle real problems, almost no one knows what the CHP stands for apart from re-erecting social barriers.
Those within the CHP who voiced their concerns and called for change, once again, face expulsion, like those that came before them.
The lack of credible opposition has been and remains the main impediment to democratic progress. The CHP continues to defend a status quo that went bankrupt decades ago. No wonder the electorate keeps voting for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) one election after another.
No one can accuse the AK Party of resting on its laurels. It is constantly renewing itself, producing one reform after another to further economic and social progress, inspiring its grassroots to mobilize each and every time the electorate is called to vote.
No one can blame the CHP grassroots for being disillusioned. For whenever they look up, they see an infighting party hierarchy that offers no vision or hope.
We, as Daily Sabah, call on all those international nongovernmental organizations and media constantly commenting on the state of Turkish democracy to start delving deeper into the reasons why the AK Party has never lost a single vote in the past 15 years and help the opposition CHP to free itself from the vicious circle in which it finds itself.
Any democratic progress within the CHP will benefit Turkish democracy.
to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the
used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan
ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen