Is there a crack in the CHP?
We know that some leftist-liberal intellectuals directed criticism at the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) by saying the AK Party government mismanages the country, takes reforms slowly and halts the progress made in the Kurdish issue, but the criticism is not likely to bring a political division within the AK Party.
However, they have made such analyses that one could easily be convinced that the AK Party will not be able to win another election in this country, and it will be divided.

Now, analyses indicating a political division are being made about the Republican People's Party (CHP) not for the AK Party.

Demands concerning returning the prestige of Seyit Rıza, who was promoted by the Kemalist regime as the so-called leader of a non-existent rebellion and hanged with his son in 1938, and allowing the right to a defense in court in one's mother tongue have polarized the neo-nationalistic and democratic camps of the CHP.

Hüseyin Aygün, who submitted the proposal to return Seyit Rıza's prestige to Parliament, is a CHP deputy from Dersim, the old name for Tunceli. Unfortunately, his proposal has not been supported by his party and been criticized by its neo-nationalist wing.

The same thing happened last year when the CHP underwent a serious reckoning and confrontation due to the Dersim massacre.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has put an end to the Dersim debates by defining the Dersim massacre as "an inevitable result of revolution." Kılıçdaroğlu supports the demand for the right to a defense in court in one's mother tongue, while the neo-nationalist wing of the CHP objects to this demand. As a person who believes that confronting the Kurdish issue is the only way to set the CHP free from the basic paradigms of its founding ideology, I think the CHP will have further difficulties when the country make further progress in the Kurdish issue; if the CHP is to renew itself, the Kurdish issue will be a litmus test for the new CHP.

Until now, the Kemalist CHP has failed to obtain the opportunities and means that political Islam has obtained through the Kurdish issue to change and become a more democratic political party. A longing for the past and objecting to democratic developments has become the official party policy of the CHP. This decreases the CHP's chances of becoming a major political actor, and as is the case in the Kurdish issue, makes it an obstacle to a solution.

Defending the protection of the nation-state with its all institutions and ideological norms has been adopted by the CHP as the only form of politics.

However, improving democracy in Turkey depends on whether the nation-state is ready to share its sovereignty over the country with other actors living in the country -- in other words, its intention to become more pluralist.

The CHP does not and cannot say yes to this because in this case, there will no longer be any trace of today's CHP.

However, if democratization of the Turkish nation-state means sharing national sovereignty with other citizens with different ethnic backgrounds, then you can only delay this historically and politically for a while, but you cannot prevent it forever.

In fact, despite of all the efforts to prevent it, history stands upright in this process.

The denial of Kurdish identity has ended.

The prestige of Kurdish language and literature is increasing.

The state has abandoned its denial policies. Instead, the state is trying to make peace with cultures and languages that it has denied in the past. Making peace with this culture is a painful process. And this is quite natural. The 89-year-old Turkish republic spent 79 years developing denial and assimilation policies.

During the last 10 years, we have started to say that if we hadn't denied Kurdish people and other ethnic groups, we would have a better state with better democratic standards.

The state has abandoned its policy of using force against ethnic groups that demand recognition. However, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) promotes violence and uses these demands as a trump card. The funerals of fallen soldiers and the blood spilled do not allow the Turkish people to think that other people also live in this country. The mentality that limited Kurdish politics to armed struggle prevents the voice of civilian Kurdish people and their valid demands from being heard by the Turkish people.

The Turkish people think that a new civilian constitution will solve the Kurdish issue and also want to see that Atatürk's principles and revolutions are protected by the new constitution.

So, how can it be possible to make a new civilian constitution that will please Kurdish people by protecting Atatürk's principles and revolutions?

To be honest, not only the CHP's but also Turkish people's minds are confused about the Kurdish issue.

ORHAN MİROĞLU (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-24 12:00:01
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