Thursday, August 16, 2007
The Last Stalinist: read and Judge.
While Erdoğan is often accused of mismanaging the presidential election process, the total fiasco of Baykal is just ignored.
By Yusuf KANLI
It must be peculiar to Turkey. Is there a similar situation anywhere else?
Sure, in a democracy people may oppose certain policies of the leader of their party. They may have a very strong position about certain practices undertaken by their leader. But I do not think there is such a widespread “Voting for my party despite my leader” feeling anywhere else. With this huge success, perennial opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal must have earned a distinguished place for himself in the Guinness Book of Records. If he was not given a place in that book, he has all the right to complain of being subjected to a gross injustice.
The Turkish electorate sent a very strong message to the CHP back in 1999 by keeping it out of Parliament for the first time in the history of the founding party of the modern Turkish republic. It received only 8.7 percent of the votes. The message was loud and clear: Change and get rid of the antagonistic mentality, conservatism, and live up to the heritage of your and the republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk by converting yourself into a progressive force. Another message was that members and supporters of the CHP wanted a rejuvenation of the party. They were against their party becoming a Jurassic park of geriatric dinosaurs.
Read more here.