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The cauldron is boiling at the CHP

By Aydın Engin
Yayınlanma tarihi: 3 Mayıs 2017 Çarşamba, 11:30

Last week Claw Mark ended with two articles about the CHP. I was about to say, ‘That will do,’ and devote a Claw Mark to addressing questions like the way Erdoğan is preparing for a bloody adventure in Syria regardless of Putin and Trump and the way the thread connecting the EU and the Erdoğan regime is about to snap, when all of a sudden the CHP turned into a boiling cauldron.
So, another Claw Mark about the CHP is called for.
What to do? You have no choice but to eat what comes up in your spoon and the subject that is crying out for attention gets a Claw Mark.
Here goes.
The first sign of the cauldron starting to boil at the CHP was the Deniz Baykal - Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu meeting.
The only comments following the meeting came from Baykal. My colleague Ahmet Hakan, then sensing that the cauldron had started to boil, invited Deniz Baykal to appear on CNN Türk. Baykal appeared to spit it all out there, but not quite. For example, he recommended that, if Kılıçdaroğlu was not to be a candidate for the presidency in 2019, he should step down as party head. With the journalistic crowd wondering what on earth he was driving at, why he made that suggestion and what he might be scheming at, he then appeared to suggest that Abdullah Gül stand for president. With us now trying to fathom what purpose he might have in mind in proposing one of the founders of the AKP, Gül, to the CHP electorate, membership, parliamentarians and administrators, the internet sprang into life and the prevailing verdict was that Deniz Baykal was actually proposing himself as presidential candidate.
The next day, Deniz Baykal made a new explanation to clarify his comments. Once more, we encountered a not particularly explanatory explanation.
Then, Kılıçdaroğlu stepped onto the rostrum to address the CHP group meeting. He roared, ‘We will never permit an internal party dispute. If need be, we will show the quarrellers the door.’ I couldn’t help wondering if he was making a veiled threat to those young CHP members who have shunned the party’s approach following the referendum, such as the young people from the party who conducted an applause-worthy referendum campaign in Üsküdar. After all, I was unaware of any event or outburst having come to public attention that had to do with quarrel mongering in the CHP.
Then suddenly another one of these outbursts that has brought the CHP onto centre stage came in the form of the pointed comments by CHP old hand, Fikri Sağlar.
Sağlar said, ‘We can’t take any more. Everything’s wrecked. An extraordinary congress must be held immediately.’
Then Muharrem İnce stepped into the fray yesterday, saying, ‘It falls under the general chair’s remit to hold an extraordinary congress. Rather than collecting signatures and demanding an extraordinary congress it would be more fitting if he convened it.’
Kılıçdaroğlu is right. Something is stirring in the CHP. I do not know if it is a dispute, but something is clearly stirring and the cauldron has started to bubble.
The raising of voices, from Baykal to Fikri Sağlar and then Muharrem İnce make an extraordinary congress appear inevitable.
So it would seem.
I do not know if Kılıçdaroğlu will now convene an extraordinary congress, or if sufficient signatures will be collected from among delegates and a congress resolution passed.
What I know, see and observe is that lively days are in the offing at the CHP. From today’s standpoint, it defies prediction whether within the party this will give rise to a fortuitous break from the mould that tries to be all things to all people or a result that makes one say, ‘Plus ça change.’ But the prediction holds water that in the coming days the CHP is going to court a great deal of attention within journalistic circles.

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