Let the waters not settle at the CHP
The week before last, two Claw Marks about the CHP were published in succession. Veteran readers will know that this does not happen often. And, given that I attach importance to my superiors’ advice, ‘Avoid articles that get mixed up in parties’ internal affairs and hand down advice’ and also because events in the CHP at that time did not rank among the country’s prime problems, I made do with two articles.
However, I took up the CHP once more on entering the week just behind us. General Chair Kılıçdaroğlu made an outburst of a kind we are not used to hearing from him: ‘I will show those who start quarrels the door.’ To top it all, Fikri Sağlar then mutinied with his extraordinary congress proposal. Like it or not, a third ‘boiling cauldron CHP’ article became unavoidable. It was penned. My friend Rona Aybay ragged me about it. ‘It appears this CHP will not give you the opportunity to write about anything else,’ he jested.
He was right. With the week drawing to a close, the CHP cauldron bubbled up once more. Selin Sayek Böke announced her resignation.
Talk about a resignation! She listed one truth after another that had the potential to wreak serious havoc at the CHP.
As these lines were being written, the CHP Party Assembly had yet to convene. I have no way of knowing what else will emerge. But, it is quite clear that ‘a thing or two’ will emerge.
My father’s tailor Sadık had a saying he never grew tired of:
‘Let them pile up vats from the sky to the ground / Let them pull out the bottom one / Just watch the commotion.’
It is not one vat that has been pulled from the bottom at the CHP, but several vats at once. Deniz Baykal, who is still and once again seeking a place for himself at the top of the CHP, pulled out the first vat. The last one was the work of Selin Sayek Böke.
Is there more to come?
Bring it on.
After all, the poet said, ‘The seas do not calm before having rolled.’
This is the nature of the matter. Let the CHP roll. It is good.
It is good for the country. It is good for the party. It is good for democracy.
Either the CHP will succeed in its 50-year adventure to turn into a social democratic party, or ...
or it will align itself with the ‘state’ the moment tough and demanding decisions are called for. It will align itself with the state even though its reins have passed into the hands of Tayyip Erdoğan and his crew.
Like, for example, when it consented to the lifting of HDP MPs’ immunities while uttering sentences beginning: ‘Even if it is contrary to the Constitution ...’
Like, for example, ignoring that the preference to tackle the 16 April referendum results through legal means in a lawless country is tantamount to accepting the legality of the results.
Ignoring the subtle distinction between the legal and the legitimate confines the fight for democracy to within a barren zone. Making do with ‘opposition through statements’ overshadows the successful political choice during the referendum campaign.
But, if the CHP can turn into a real social democratic party, it will as a party that is a member of the Socialist International steer clear of nationalism of all kinds, and will be a sound, trustworthy party that stands by all freedoms and democracy on a citizenship basis, having no truck with discrimination between Kurds, Turks, Sunnis and Alevis.
So, it is good for the CHP to roll.