Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu became the epicentre of the CHP in the aftermath of the 2007 elections. The CHP leadership realised after a decade that radical Kemalist rhetoric had a powerbase of 20% and had to be amended if the CHP aims to lead Turkey one day in the future. The new policy was based upon emphasising the corruption allegations about the ruling AKP instead of continiously blaming them to be anti-secular. To note, the course of the Ergenekon and the failure of the “radical” politics had a profound effect on this re-orientation. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s star shined with this new policy, he was the man who would carry out the systematic eradication of the AKP’s “AK-clear” image. He was successful in various cases and put an end to the leadership of leading figures within the AKP, such as the Dengir case. His live-debate with the current Ankara municipal governor Ibrahim Melih Gökcek.
The debate was the beginning of a fight between to mental imaginations, one representing the old regime’s myth of staying clean and working for the good of the people, the “Halk” partisi image and the other representing the new social forces and their boosted ego in the aftermath of the 2007 elections. Melih Gökcek’s lawlesness and his lack of shame int he face of the allegations were paramount, and even irritated his own leadership. Kılıçdaroğlu on the other hand, represents the “Ecevit” image in Turkish politics, that good, non-corruptable, “clean” politician who is also a common man in his social life.
The nomination of Kılıçdaroğlu as the candidate of the CHP for the metropolitan city of Istanbul may be the beginning of a new era in Turkish politics. The potential win of Kılıçdaroğlu will bring with it a five-year transition process within the CHP. Kılıçdaroğlu, as the new leader of “Istanbul” the gateway to transnational ruling elite would enable him to open himself to the new realities, and devleop a social democratic integration intot he world structures. The Obama factor is crucial at this point, instead of a Hamas loving leadership, a delicate and social democratic Turkey similar to that of Gonzales’ Spain would be more acceptable also for the EU. The end of Kılıçdaroğlu’s term will be his elavation as the leader of the CHP.
I will continue to think about this theme this week.