Who can Kılıçdaroğlu harm: CHP or himself?


I often remember the words of someone from within the CHP that I spoke to after the last election when the CHP emerged first from the polls, with the AK Party trailing behind.

“You’ll see,” my friend had said, “It won’t take long for the post-election picture to deteriorate and for AK Party supporters to regain their morale. It won’t be because the AK Party will recover, but because the CHP will find a way to retreat into its shell or split apart…”

Even though I knew that our political history was filled with examples like the one my friend anticipated, I found his expectation a bit exaggerated given the euphoric atmosphere of the day.

CHP is a party that continuously reproduces itself…

Splits have occurred within parties known as ‘right-wing’ too, with new parties emerging from them. However, the situation of the CHP is different from them.

The most important difference is this: Right-wing parties, for not-so-unpredictable reasons, experience difficulties and fail to maintain unity while in power; whereas the CHP, even when far from power, becomes embroiled in personal rivalries and ends up splitting.

The CHP is again at such a turning point, and this time not even two months have passed since it emerged first in the election…

The unrest began ebefore the local elections. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who lost the chairmanship at the convention, was not visible during the election campaign; those known to be close to him announced that this was a deliberate stance.


After the election, while the new chairman Özgür Özel tried to set the agenda with a ‘softening’ or ‘normalization’ approach by meeting with the leaders of the ruling parties of AK Parti and the MHP, Kılıçdaroğlu suddenly came out saying, “You do not negotiate with the Palace, you fight it.”

The words my friend said the day after the last election first passed through my mind on that day.

On a TV program he appeared on Monday evening, Kılıçdaroğlu accused the CHP staff who took office after him with sharp sentences that included words like ‘ingratitude’ and ‘backstabbing.’

It can be somewhat understandable that a politician who lost the chairmanship only in the second round at the convention and is thought to represent a strong faction within the party cannot come to terms with the defeat.

However, there are opinions in the same interview that I find difficult to understand.

For example, this sentence:

“What would you say if the friends who started the journey with you, fought alongside you, insisted that you be the presidential candidate, later turn around and do the exact opposite?”

As far as I can see, the CHP staff supported Kılıçdaroğlu’s presidential candidacy up to the election day, even if they had the thought that he might not win…


After the election, while evaluating why they could not win, if there were those who said “We might have won if someone else had been the candidate,” can they be blamed?

More than half of the country thought so after the election, and they still think so today…

Why might the former chairman of the CHP feel the need to make such a move?

His move will inevitably weaken the hand of the new CHP administration, especially that of chairman Özgür Özel. However, I find it hard to attribute such an intention to Kılıçdaroğlu.

There is a bylaw convention scheduled for September. The purpose of the convention is clear from its name; however, the former chairman might want to prepare the groundwork to turn it into an elective convention where he can run for the chairmanship again.

The process he has initiated could start the labor pains of the CHP.

The struggle to turn the bylaw convention into an elective convention… The first pain…

The struggle to be elected at the convention… The second pain…

If he wins, the purges… The third pain…

If he loses once again… The final pain and birth…

Whether the former chairman wins the chairmanship again in the elective convention or loses once more, the CHP may give birth to a new party…

Let’s recall: Muharrem İnce ran for the chairmanship against Kılıçdaroğlu at the 2014 CHP convention and lost. In the 2018 presidential election, he was the CHP candidate and lost to Tayyip Erdoğan.

After two defeats, İnce left the CHP and founded the Homeland Party.

I hope that Kılıçdaroğlu does not initiate a process that could lead to a similar fate as İnce’s after his presidential and CHP chairmanship election defeats.

I don’t know the answer to the question I asked in the title of my article; but I know one thing: In any case, the AK Party wins…