Jul 30 2018

Turkey’s opposition to weaken before local elections - column

With Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) torn by the fight between supporters of leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and his rival presidential candidate Muharrem İnce, and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) faced with a range of internal problems, Turkey’s opposition, once again, is set to take a blow before local elections, writes columnist Nuray Mert in her article in pro-government Hürriyet Daily News.

After CHP presidential candidate İnce far outshined his party’s showing by receiving over 30 percent of support for the first time in 41 years in last month’s presidential and parliamentary elections, there were calls for party leader Kılıçdaroğlu to resign. The party has since been faced with the rivalry of the two figures.

‘’It is more about the personal rivalry between these two men who lead the party, as most recently, both right wingers and some self-styled leftists have united to support the status quo against those who demand change,’’ Mert wrote.

The columnist pointed out that the internal affairs of political parties in Turkey are far from democratic and ranks are determined by the leader, adding, ‘’As a result, personal loyalty to the leadership defines the fate of lawmakers and other administrators in all parties. It is no surprise then that those who are promoted by the leadership fear change, since it may change their political status.’’

In the CHP, internal politics are even “more vicious”  “since assets are so small,” Mert wrote.

The Kurdish opposition, too, have their fare share of problems and have beene very reluctant to acknowledge their failures, she shared.

As long as opposition parties and circles refuse to acknowledge their own mistakes, Mert wrote, and insist on holding others solely responsible for political consequences, the direction of politics in Turkey will remain the same or worse.

As Turkey heads for the local elections next, it seems the opposition camp has its work cut out for itself.