Politics

Is former CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu returning to active politics?

Visiting a repair-shop in an industrial site OSTIM in Ankara upon the shop-owners invitation, former main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu hinted his return to active politics by quoting former President Demirel: “there is an entrance to politics but not exit.”

Former Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu returned to the public sphere 100 days after losing his seat to Özgür Özel, hinting his return to active politics.

Visiting small businesses in the OSTIM Industrial Site in Ankara, the previous leader of the main opposition party quoted former President Süleyman Demirel and said: “politics has an entrance but no exit.”

Following the May 2023 election defeat, the opposition alliance has been broken and former CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu, as the alliance’s presidential candidate, faced fierce criticisms both from his party and alliance partners. After losing his seat to CHP’s rising parliamentary group leader Özgür Özel, Kılıçdaroğlu’s political activities were calm.

According to information obtained by YetkinReport, Ekrem Erol, a small shopowner from OSTIM, invited Kılıçdaroğlu to his repairshop for breakfast. Kılıçdaroğlu accepted the invitation, saying, ‘I’ll buy the simits,’ and went to OSTİM with his colleagues Bülent Kuşoğlu, Metin Lütfü Baydar, and Metin Işık.

During the tea chat, attended by local tradesmen and workers, Kılıçdaroğlu began with the words, ‘Politics has an entrance, but no exit,’ and continued:

“We entered politics, okay. Even if you want to get out, you can’t. In any case, you have to be involved. The country has a world of problems; you have to be involved. Even if you don’t express your views, you have to observe, learn, talk, and listen. What are the concerns of the citizens? Because it’s changing… The environment is changing, the problems are changing, people are changing. The politician must navigate this change.”

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With the words ‘Politics has no exit,’ Kılıçdaroğlu was referring to Süleyman Demirel’s statement after the end of his presidency: ‘Politics has only one door, it says ‘in’ on it; that is, ‘entrance.’ Politics has no door with ‘Exit’ written on it.’

Kılıçdaroğlu continued with another example from Demirel:

‘After leaving the presidency, Demirel did not leave politics. When I went to see him, he would be sitting there with books, guests by his side, talking with them, saying something. We, too, of course, would say something occasionally, ask, to learn. Experience is something else.’

After repeating Demirel’s statement in a TV program in 2005, ‘There is no way out,’ he added, ‘I said I would not be in party politics after the presidency. But I am concerned about the country and world issues.’

Former CHP leader: Internal party matters never

Regarding the developments in the CHP and questions about internal party politics, Kılıçdaroğlu said, ‘I want my party to be successful,’ adding, ‘I never discuss internal party matters outside.’

Meanwhile, during Kılıçdaroğlu’s visit to Ekrem Erol’s workplace, two hung signs attracted attention. One was the slogan used by Ekrem İmamoğlu when he won the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in 2019: ‘Everything will be very nice.’ The other was the workplace owner’s statement, ‘I will walk these paths again with the same enthusiasm that you will be shocked.'”

Since the May 2023 election defeat, Türkiye’s main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has grappled with internal conflicts that have taken a toll on the party. However, in addition to this, an unprecedented situation has emerged in Turkish politics: the CHP, not President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), appears to be the central target for nearly all opposition parties in their local elections campaign.

You can read full report from here:

Murat Yetkin

Journalist-Writer

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