“There is no better name to call a party that has held 33 ordinary and 17 extraordinary congresses since it was founded than the ‘party of congresses.’ However, we owe a debt of gratitude to the CHP. Though the CHP did not increase the level of prosperity like the Democrat Party [DP] did, or put an emphasis on investments in infrastructure in Turkey like the Justice Party [AP] did or set a goal of establishing ‘a new democratic Turkey’ like the Justice and Development Party [AK Party] did, the CHP did achieve to entertain the nation with its eventful congresses,” says Sabah’s Hasan Celal Güzel.
Sabah’s other columnist, Emre Aköz, notes that since the 1950s Turkey has seen many powerful right-wing political leaders such as former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and Turgut Özal and current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. However, on the left we only find former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, but the government during his period was indeed very weak, says Aköz, who also points to the fact that the reason for there being no powerful leftist leader is that the rightist parties are much better in establishing a dialogue with the parties’ grass roots. “Let’s look at the CHP. Most of the CHP deputies came to their position because of their surnames, not because of their achievements. And another significant fact is that the deputies are mostly elitist people who are surrounded by bureaucrats, military officers and academics. These people naturally do not see the changes in society. I think there are many young people who are aware of the party’s problem. But as long as Kılıçdaroğlu suppresses these people’s voices, the CHP is bound to remain the same leftist party that is stuck being in the benches of the opposition rather being a ruling party,” says Aköz. On the other hand Milliyet’s Derya Sazak argues that the CHP has a good potential of voters who are eager to vote for a leftist party. But the main problem is that the CHP does not quite have what it takes to be a leftist party. The party constantly wastes its energy on fights and internal conflicts. Therefore, if it fails to become a real leftist party or fails to understand what life is like for people from a different social class and what those people expect from their government, the CHP will suffer many more defeats at the hands of the AK Party.