Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was among the participants of a rally in İzmir to mark the 82nd anniversary of the Menemen uprising in 1930, when a group of religious zealots launched a rebellion against the secular regime and killed three people.
However, the CHP leader was mostly criticized by columnists for viewing the three victims as heroes during the commemoration event.
Sabah’s Hasan Celal Güzel is one of those people critical of the commemoration ceremony. There are certain events in Turkish history that disrupted political and social peace in the country. The May 27, 1960, coup was one of those events, in which a coup was staged against a democratic regime and the prime minister and ministers of the country were hung, and it was horribly wrong to celebrate its anniversary as if it were a festival like it was done several times in the past. Another event that should be commemorated with shame is the Menemen event, Güzel says. “The demonstration of power Kılıçdaroğlu made in the commemoration of the Menemen uprising has shown that today’s CHP is no different from the CHP of the single-party period, although it claims to have changed. It still carries on meaningless campaigns for secularism,” the Sabah columnist writes.
According to Fehmi Koru from the Star daily, Kılıçdaroğlu is a hardworking politician. He appears at every event from politics to art. He goes to various provinces and meets with little-known artists and public figures. But his nonstop PR work does not really work, simply because he is wasting his time with the wrong people and at the wrong events. What kind of a reaction does he expect to receive when he commemorates an event since which almost a century has passed? He would do himself and his party more good if he stayed at home and pondered what more he could do for his country and especially for issues related to Kurdish rights and terrorism that have troubled Turkey for a long time.
Meanwhile, Koray Çalışkan, a columnist for Radikal, believes despite all else, the CHP deserves to be praised for its progress over the past few years in distancing itself from the military and getting on better with rightist circles of society.