Kilicdaroglu lost, but the CHP has not yet won

Assessing the leader change in Turkey's main opposition party.

When Kemal Kilicdaroglu ended his political career and left the congress hall, he left a sense of disappointment and disillusionment behind. Many hoped he would bring about real change and lead the party towards a new direction. However, his actions during the congress revealed that he was not as selfless and principled as he had portrayed himself.

One of the main issues to be discussed is whether those who stayed in the hall will genuinely be the vanguard of change. Will they overcome the internal divisions and conflicts that have plagued the party for years? Can they unite under a shared vision and challenge the ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party?

Kilicdaroglu's defeat in the presidential race also raises questions about the future of the CHP (Republican People's Party). Will the party be able to attract new supporters and broaden its appeal beyond its traditional voter base? Can it present a credible alternative to the AKP and regain the people's trust?

These challenges lie ahead for the CHP, and they will determine the party's success or failure in the upcoming local elections and the overall turbulent situation in Turkey. It is a critical moment for the CHP, and the outcome of this ideological and political contest will significantly impact the future of the party and the country.

There are unanswered questions about Kilicdaroglu's true intentions. Was he genuinely supporting the March for Justice, or was he using it as a political tool to gain popularity and divert attention from his shortcomings?

Furthermore, the limited space reserved for Ozgur Ozel's name and presence in congress highlights the CHP's internal divisions and power struggles. It sends a message that those who do not align with Kilicdaroglu's agenda are marginalized and excluded from the party's narrative.

This lack of inclusivity and transparency raises concerns about the CHP's ability to bring real change and effectively challenge the ruling AKP. It also doubts the party's commitment to democracy and fair representation.

For the CHP to indeed be a vanguard of change, it must address these internal divisions and conflicts. It must foster an inclusive and democratic environment where different voices and perspectives are respected and valued.

Additionally, the CHP must broaden its appeal beyond its traditional voter base. It must present a credible alternative to the AKP and regain the people's trust. This requires solid and united leadership and a clear and compelling vision for the future of Turkey.

In his congress speech, Kilicdaroglu displayed a lack of political maturity with his typical Turkish rhetoric. He seemed more focused on arrogance than presenting a credible and self-reflective message. He portrayed himself as a victim, claiming to have been stabbed in the back and betrayed and refusing to take any responsibility for the party's defeat.

Furthermore, Kilicdaroglu's speech revealed his inability to see beyond his narrow circle and understand the needs and concerns of the wider public. He failed to acknowledge the need for change and was blinded by his position of power.

Kilicdaroglu's speech highlighted his inability to lead the CHP and address the party's challenges effectively. A new approach and a more inclusive and self-reflective attitude are needed for the party to regain credibility and effectively challenge the ruling AKP.

As a result, Kilicdaroglu's true intentions became apparent when he went against his declaration of not making a second speech. Instead of taking the risk of speaking first and being unable to respond to Ozel, he cunningly chose to "waive" his second speech, only to retake the podium after Ozel finished. This move demonstrated Kilicdaroglu's lack of reliability and petty attempt to undermine his rival within the party rather than making a grand maneuver against the government.

During the congress, many CHP supporters expressed their disappointment in Kilicdaroglu's actions, stating that they would have preferred to see him leave with dignity. Kilicdaroglu's hunger for power and ambition overshadowed his leadership role, leaving a sense of betrayal and uncertainty among those who remained in the hall.

The question now arises as to whether those who remain can genuinely be the catalyst for change within the party. This issue will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion moving forward.

Hence, the question remains: Did the CHP win with Ozel's victory? Will Turkey see a change if the CHP changes? And how exactly will the CHP change?

Ozel's focus during his congress speech seemed to be on attracting delegates, possibly intentionally limiting his political horizon to the party organization. This raises doubts about his ability to navigate the various factions that may surround him in a short period.

The framework for Ozel's strategy, especially in the upcoming local elections, is still unknown. It is uncertain what kind of relationship he will build with the Kurds and how he plans to address their concerns. Furthermore, it is expected that Ozel will purge the CHP of what he refers to as "right-wing advisors," but a larger circle outside this group remains to be addressed.

If Ozel and Ekrem İmamoglu, the new faces of the CHP, embrace some social democrats, Alevis, and leftists who have been kept at arm's length by Kilicdaroglu, and if right-wing individuals wearing leftist masks become the main actors of this "change," Kilicdaroglu's position within the party may be in jeopardy.

During the congress, CHP Diyarbakir MP Sezgin Tanrikulu highlighted Kilicdaroglu's secret protocol with the Zafer (Victory) Party and criticized the wasted opportunity to build relations with the Kurds between May 14 and 28. Can Ozel salvage the wreckage left by Kilicdaroglu? Will he have the courage to align himself with HEDEP during the local election process despite the government's criminalization of this group and its political activities? Will he translate his emphasis on the left in his congress speech into actual party policies, or will his leftist rhetoric only serve as a superficial addition?

The synthesis of the new central organ of the CHP will shed light on Ozel's strategy. In any case, it is essential to note that the battle for the party's political strategy did not conclude on November 4th; it has just begun. The prevailing ideological and political inclination that emerges from this struggle will not only determine the course of the upcoming local elections but also influence the turbulent situation in which Turkey finds itself. While Kilicdaroglu may have suffered a defeat, it cannot be said that the CHP has achieved a decisive victory.

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