Important ground in the CHP transformation: The Kurdish problem

The mere fact that the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan-Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu meeting took place is concrete proof of the positive transformation in the republican People's Party (CHP).

Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu is not a "professional politician" like Mr. Deniz Baykal. He is aware that politics is conducted to come up with and implement solutions to solve problems instead of merely for the sake of conducting politics. The fact that he didn't resort to saying, "If we are to talk, it will only be in front of cameras," is enough to show the difference between the two.

Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu should have no worries. It's the CHP that will walk out with an advantage from such a stance. It is all too apparent where an understanding of destructive politics has led the party. Turkey has been in search of a balanced and responsible opposition for a long time.

If only this understanding was espoused by the other chairmen in Parliament.

Regardless of which party he or she represents, for a party leader who says, "No, I have nothing to discuss with you on that matter," in response to the president of the Turkish Republic's request to discuss the festering wound that is the Kurdish problem is a very unbecoming attitude.

We see that those who assert that they care most about the survival of the state are uninformed of stately manners.

We hope that Prime Minister Erdoğan, too, will in a short period of time understand that there will be no development towards solving the Kurdish problem without speaking to the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) .

Kılıçdaroğlu should be braver

There are signs that CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu was not all too prepared when he took over the CHP, particularly in deep matters such as foreign politics. It is clear that he is having a staffing problem. Furthermore, it is apparent that he is hesitant in exhibiting his personal views, which are at times quite different from the former chairman, on some basic matters.

These difficulties will be overcome with time; however, there is no time for the Kurdish problem.

He does not have much time to overcome the CHP politics before him, which essentially depleted the party's power in the Southeast. The attitude he will display on the Kurdish problem will be a determinant in unraveling the CHP's transformation. ​

His meeting with Erdoğan may be a beginning for Kılıçdaroğlu.

An important note for Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu: The Kurdish issue is not a matter that political matters can devise many alternative political solutions to. You must either continue along the road paved by the MHP or your former leader, which is destructive, or support the "democratic initiative" and bring forth criticisms that are conducive to its implementation. Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu, from the first general assembly meeting, exhibited a timid attitude regarding the Kurdish problem.

But he should be braver.

The secret of transforming the CHP from the days of İsmet İnönü to the Karaoğlan (the nickname given to Bülent Ecevit, whose work ethic Kılıçdaroğlu is said to espouse) legend, pushing the party's support base to 42 percent, lies in "courage."

Some people tie Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu's timidity on the Kurdish matter to his self-consciousness psyche caused by his ethnic roots.

We don't entertain that as an option. But I must add that Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu does not need to act in a self-conscious way when talking about the Kurdish issue, or matters having to do with his own ethnic roots or religious sect. In the eyes of most Turks, Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu is a chairman that has the skills and appearance necessary to be able to continue the Ecevit-Erdal İnönü line. ​

As long as Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu defends right and brave political decisions, there is no voter who will not vote for him due to his ethnic roots and religious sect.

17 July 2010, Saturday
GÜRKAN ZENGİN