The candidacy of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as joint candidate...
Has caused the expected stir up in the CHP.
This stir up could deepen.
There are doubts about how committed and active the CHP's grassroots organisations will be during the election campaign.
In fact there are signs that Ihsanoglu will be isolated in certain areas.
On the other hand, the CHP's Parliamentary Group is boiling up from within.
Radikal Kemalists, nationalists have already started rebelling against party leader Kilicdaroglu.
While among Alevi circles...
There are negative reactions against the selection of a joint candidate with the MHP.
Also strong objections against Ihsanoglu's 'Sunni identity,' are ringing in ears.
There is a buzz of discontent among the CHP's core Alevi voters.
'The CHP has relinquished its identity'
Coming to the Kurds...
The CHP have not had a presence on this front for years.
It can easily be said that a joint candidate with the MHP has added insult to injury.
Regarding this the KCK joint-chair Cemil Bayik has said, "With this candidate the CHP has relinquished its identity."
This is Bayik's message from Kandil:
The CHP, MHP have selected a joint candidate.
This candidate has revealed the CHP's reality.
With this candidate the CHP has relinquished its identity.
I think certain circles can see this. Discussions have begun.
There is the fact that the CHP and MHP's joint candidate is the son of a man who was against Ataturk; and the fact that he is closer to the MHP.
Even though the CHP have declared him as their candidate he is actually the MHP's candidate.
The CHP have become like the MHP.
This situation will have an effect on core CHP voters.
It will have an effect on Alevis, on social democrats and even on nationalists.
A journey to hope with Erdogan rather than Kilicdaroglu-Bahceli.
Cemil Bayik is indicating that the CHP have become like the MHP.
This is certainly a severe assessment and one which is debatable.
But in the eyes of the Kurds this is the CHP's position.
This is not new.
As a political alternative to the AKP, the CHP-MHP coalition is like a nightmare for Kurds.
This is unacceptable to the point where Kurds are willing to disregard Erdogan's disregard for democracy.
This could also be said:
Compared to Kilicdaroglu-Bahceli a journey to hope with Erdogan is a journey to hope with the lesser of two evils.
Why has the CHP made a controversial choice?
Going back to the beginning...
I said that a 'joint candidate' with the MHP has truly unsettled waters in the CHP.
This is true.
There are strong winds blowing at the head and at the foot of the party.
The strength of these winds in possibly bringing down the CHP vote should not be underestimated.
Looking at the negative aspects I have listed above it is difficult to see the logic behind the CHP's choice in declaring a 'joint candidate' with the MHP.
Why was this choice made?
The grassroots are not in favour of it.
The party have not digested it.
The radical Kemalists, nationalist are in rebellion.
Moderate Kemalists or social democrats like Riza Turmen are not happy with the situation.
There is an ever increasing buzz among Alevis...
The Kurds are distant anyway.
Why was this decision taken..?
Demirtas could reduce the votes of the 'joint candidate'
Maybe they could be thinking in this fashion:
Everyone who does not want to see Tayyip Erdogan as President in Cankaya will, even if it is half-heartedly, vote for the 'joint candidate!
Is this the plan..?
If it is...
We must ask what if.
The vote percentage of HDP candidate Selahattin Demirtas according to some surveys is around 9-10 points.
Some voters who believe Erdogan will win the vote in the second round in any case, could go to the polls and vote for the HDP candidate Demirtas so that Erdogan does not pass the threshold in the first round.
This could reduce the votes of the 'joint candidate' even more.
The issue I wanted to address from the beginning of this piece was the CHP's state.
But I haven't been able to get around to it.
The inevitable question:
Can the CHP renew itself?
Can it place itself on a truly social democratic track?
Can it forge a push into power?
Will the CHP progress with a 'joint candidate'?
The CHP is not showing promising signs for today.
The portrait of the CHP following the March 30th local elections can be summarised as follows:
• The CHP's votes are under 10% in 353 towns in Turkey.
• Under 10% in 28 of 51 cities.
• Between 10 and 20% in 15 of 51 cities.
• Above 20% in only 8 cities.
• Under 10% in 9 of 30 Metropolitan municipalities.
• Under 20% in 3 of 30 Metropolitan municipalities.
• Above 20% in 18 Metropolitan municipalities.
This is the CHP's state in short.
And I don't think they will progress with the 'joint candidate' they have selected with the MHP.
- Hasan Cemal