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Where is the CHP to position itself in politics?

By Aydın Engin
Yayınlanma tarihi: 30 Nisan 2017 Pazar, 19:41

Do not look at the title and expect an answer to come from me.

I will not go back very far. For example, I will not speak of its preferences that exceed the nonsensical and merit classification under the ludicrous such as fielding a candidate likeEkmeleddin İhsanoğlu, who today serves as a member of parliament for the MHP, against Tayyip Erdoğan in the presidential election and then wanting social democrats to vote for him; or, similarly, putting up Mansur Yavaş with his roots in the MHP, as candidate for mayor of the capital Ankara.

What I wish to discuss is not the blood mismatch between that of the candidates that the CHP fields and social democracy.

We are speaking about a political party that since 1967 has claimed to be undergoing transformation into a social democratic party and has been a member of the Socialist International, that is, one that is supposed to absolutely reject nationalism by way of principle.

For the most part I prefer to swallow the words on the tip of my tongue about the CHP given that, within the sharp and dangerous polarisation into which AKP rule has taken the country, it does not align itself with the latter. Even so, it is a genuine question to inquire where it is to position itself in politics. Moreover, this question is not just the question of a journalist like me who is neither a CHP member nor a social democrat and who, on top of this, strives not to fall prey to the professional error of dishing out advice to parties. This is a question I frequently hear from my friends, acquaintances and colleagues who engage in politics under the aegis of the CHP and have embraced and internalised social democratic politics.

***

Remember how the lifting of MPs’ immunity from prosecution mooted in a constitutional amendment by the AKP on 20 May 2016 was passed with the support of CHP members, too. Outwardly, this was about lifting MPs’ immunity, but everybody knew that this was really about lifting the immunity of MHP MPs. 

The comment to emerge from the CHP leader’s mouth was that, although the provision being made was unconstitutional, they would vote in favour of it.

And this is what they did. The constitution was amended and immunity was lifted.

And the HDP’s Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ are now in jail. It is not even certain when they will come out. Never mind the citizen in the street, not even the band of journalists that busy themselves with politics is able to roll off the names of the HDP MPs who have been detained, jailed, released, re-detained, arrested and then re-detained.

Is it possible to say that a party which supports the de-facto erasure from politics of the HDP, the third party in parliament with its 59 MPs, and to top it all with the comment as if by way of afterthought, ‘It is unconstitutional but ...,’ is on the social democratic wing of politics?

So, where on earth is a party that takes immediate action at the time against the Supreme Election Council that put itself in the legislator’s place and declared that unstamped votes would be deemed valid during the referendum (not before or after, but during), but did not stand its ground with the SEC, positioned in politics?

The list has not finished. But I suspect these examples will suffice.

***

My space has ended but my claw-marking of the CHP has not.

Until tomorrow.

Kılıçdaroğlu, who had indicated that they would approve the provision the AKP was making even though it was unconstitutional, said that otherwise the AKP would exploit this situation.

Kılıçdaroğlu continued, ‘A provision that is unconstitutional and is aimed at deceiving the people is on its way. If they jail us after immunity has been lifted, so be it. We are prepared to pay all prices that are necessary to bring true democracy to this country. A serious decision must be taken and everything must be ventured. The HDP must also give its approval.’

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Cumhuriyet Arşivi Gazete Kupürlerinde:

Aydın Engin, Selahattin Demirtaş, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu