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School bogs tender

By Aydın Engin
Yayınlanma tarihi: 07 Şubat 2018 Çarşamba, 17:14

Let the heading not deceive you, you are about to read another Claw Mark on the CHP. Having lived through a four-day CHP congress if you count the day before and day after, I cannot make do with just a couple of articles.
Starting out with CHP people, in wide circles ranging as far as those without the remotest connection to the CHP, as soon as you mention the CHP, tongues start wagging over Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
In these days in which the AKP Chief increases on a daily basis the dose with which he thunders away buoyed by his support among the electorate and, relying on the blind support of the same mass body, increases with almost unbearable intensity his limitless flippancy and bragging there is a very widespread sense of hopelessness. The answer is sought in many varied circles to the question, “How are we to rid ourselves of the AKP Chief and how is this country to be saved?” and none is found.
The easiest way of evading one’s own responsibility as a citizen and finding a “guilty party” to shoulder with the blame is to place CHP General Chair Kılıçdaroğlu in the firing line.
I heard, witnessed and listened to this for the duration of the 36th congress from many people who had entered the auditorium as delegates or spectators. The entire fault in the CHP, which is incapable of creating an alternative to the AKP Chief, is the General Chair’s. Here is a selection of the notes I jotted down over the four days:
- ... He has set up the headquarters team with inadequate and talentless people... He thinks speaking out against the AKP Chief is a big deal... He falls captive to the agenda set by Tayyip Erdoğan... He has filled the party with Alevis... No, no, just as he conceals being Alevi, the Alevis in the party are blocking the way forward... He lacks courage... Can a leader emerge from the civil service, mate? – Of course not... He is not Ataturkist enough... He lacks the courage to oppose the neo-nationalist reactionism in the party... The party is being taking over by Kurdist leftists who are not Ataturkist and the General Chair looks on...
Let that suffice.
I really wonder if the CHP’s problem is Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu or if it boils down to Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
 
***
 
I will share with you an impression from the congress.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was the first of the general chair candidates to speak. His speech met with measured applause. At the end of his speech, all the delegates gave Kılıçdaroğlu a standing ovation.
A little later, the second candidate, Muharrem İnce, spoke. The speech evoked intense applause from the galleries as it progressed. Gradually intensifying applause, to boot.
At that time, at precisely that time, the number of those applauding Muharrem İnce among the delegates situated in the centre of the auditorium numbering more than 1200 was no more than the fingers on one hand, or a few more. The remainder heard İnce out in pronounced silence, in torpor and silence.
Muharrem İnce, who found no credible support in terms of applause from the delegates during his speech, got 447 votes in the poll. One-third of the delegates.
So, why did those delegates who voted for İnce sit like statues and listen to İnce with blank eyes during his speech?
Was it because provincial chairs would see, mayors would get wind and headquarters would make a mark against their names?
 
***
 
Let’s move to another observation.
I went to Ankara from Istanbul with a planeload of delegates. On the way back, too, I was in the company of nearly a planeload of delegates.
To me as an “outsider”, they only conveyed their views of the party congress. But, they were chatting like mad among themselves and it did not occur to them that I could overhear, or else they did not care.
They were giving CHP mayors a severe mauling in those chats. For not employing their friends and for not awarding tenders to party people.
It was clear from one delegate’s comments that he was a building contractor. He poured out his woes to his buddies:
-Ah, mate, I’m the provincial chair. I mean, that pulls no weight, but if the mayor had just phoned the Director of National Education, I’d have landed the primary school bogs tender. He didn’t do that, mate. He didn’t lift a finger. Is this what being in a party is about?
The bogs tender contractor is right. This is not what being in a party is about. With such party people who have attained sufficient standing to be congress delegates, the CHP will amount to nothing.

Her gün bir Cumhuriyet gazetesi alın, aldırın…
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Cumhuriyet Arşivi Gazete Kupürlerinde:

Aydın Engin, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Muharrem İnce