Former Economy Minister Kemal Derviş was invited to join the Republican People's Party (CHP) and was offered a ministry position by CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in the case the party comes to power. This has created a debate between party chairs. Former and current prominent figures of the party evaluated the issue as an "indignity" for those who are loyal to the party and stressed that it was mistaken in procedure and timing.
Pointing out that everyone knows how Derviş spoiled the coalition government in 1999, Şahin Mengü, who is a former CHP deputy from Manisa, said: "It is as plain as day what he had done in the past. Even Bülent Ecevit had mentioned him as the greatest mistake of his life. Then what has changed for the chairman to invite this man to the party? I cannot understand."
Underlining the party's failure in the 2014 presidential election following a similar kind of method, CHP former Deputy Chairman Onur Öymen called the issue a deviation from the party's fundamental tenets. "The CHP is a party that is established to protect the basic values of the Republic. I do not approve of the party's being ill-guided from its basic ideology," Öymen said.
Algan Hacaloğlu, another former deputy chairman, also found the offer to Derviş to be inappropriate, saying: "Derviş implemented policies that do not fit with the realities of Turkey. How can a person who slammed the CHP and resigned from the party contribute to the party? Even the party's declaration of elections and what kind of policy will be pursued in the elections is not clear."
Canan Arıtman, a former CHP deputy from İzmir, claimed that Derviş caused her to lose votes in İzmir while he was a candidate from Istanbul for the CHP in 2002 elections. "The chairman has to decide in regard to this fact," she said.
Derviş, who is a prominent figure of the academic world in economics, was appointed as economic affairs minister in March 2001 while the country was facing the worst economic crisis in its 79-year history. However, he resigned from his ministerial position on Aug.10, 2002 and was elected to Parliament in the Nov. 3, 2002 elections as a member of the CHP.