Mehmet Ali Güller

CHP's problem of Westwardness

11 Temmuz 2024 Perşembe

This situation, which is the fundamental problem of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's CHP, is also valid for Özgür Özel's CHP. The faction accusing the AKP of "axis shift" is now expressing themselves even more clearly by sending a direct message to Washington and Brussels: "We are more pro-Western than AKP". The problem is, this stance risks pushing the CHP back to the second place just as it is rising to the leading party status.




Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan's visit to China, his messages at the BRICS+ meeting in Russia and President Erdoğan's attendance at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana wtih his subsequent expression of the desire to join the organisation as a full member are noteworthy.


Of course, as someone who has been criticising the AKP's "neo-Abdul Hamidist" line for years, I know that these messages do not correspond to a Global Southist stance and that Erdoğan is trying to use these messages as a bargaining card in his relations with the West. 


Anyway, what I really want to emphasise is not the AKP's stance, but the CHP's stance. Unfortunately, the CHP's stance is even behind the AKP's neo-Abdulhamidism!




The first reaction came from Namık Tan, a CHP deputy with a diplomat background. Tan, who appeared very uncomfortable with Hakan Fidan's visit to China and his messages about "one China, multipolarity," unfortunately went so far as to use U.S. arguments to advocate for Uyghur issues.


Subsequently, many CHP members made statements arguing against Turkiye's efforts to join organizations such as BRICS and the SCO.


The most serious in terms of content were the remarks of CHP Chairman Özgür Özel. Criticising the AKP, Özel said, "We cannot accept that Turkiye's EU full membership target is left on paper." As if Turkiye would be allowed to enter the EU if the AKP pursued a different policy!


Comparing the EU with the SCO, Özel said, "The people in the East are poor, while the West is 10 times richer" and declared Europe as the cradle of democracy and the centre of labour!


However, while Özgür Özel was saying these things, an academic in France was being detained for "terrorist propaganda" for defending Gaza, criticism of Israel, which massacres Palestinians, is banned in universities, European capitals were not only collapsing Russia's assets, but also practising fascism against a 200-year-old Russian culture, from literature to music, and the heavy burden of neoliberal economies was again being placed on the backs of European workers.




There is no need to give long examples, because the main parameter that determines foreign policy is not these; it is the answer to the following question: Where do the threats to Turkiye come from? 


The answers are obvious: It is the West who supports terrorism, carries out coups, imposes sanctions, organises financial operations, confiscates the weapons you pay for, does not give you spare parts for the weapons it sells you, and positions itself against you in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and to the south, not the East or the Global South as it is more commonly called.


On the other hand, the fact that EU membership is a fairy tale, that Turkiye will never be made a member of this union, that Brussels sees Turkiye as a buffer between Europe and the Middle East, and that it keeps Turkiye at the EU gate to maintain this situation, while the CHP chairman can still put the goal of EU membership at the center of its foreign policy is a complete blunder for the founding party of Turkiye!


As a journalist who has been in China for 10 days following the green development forums of the SCO, listening to the striking speeches of the leaders of the SCO member countries sharing their experiences with each other, seeing the solidarity of the 26 members of the SCO that unites Asia up close, and participating in roundtable meetings with journalists from the SCO member countries, let me emphasize this: A new world is emerging. Asia is on the rise, and Europe is on the decline. Those who do not recognize this reality and still cling to the West are committing political suicide.

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