Where Does Özel’s Path Lead?

13 Haziran 2024 Perşembe

A date has already been set for Erdoğan and Özel's third meeting: July 20, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, marking the 50th anniversary of the Peace Operation.

It seems everyone is satisfied!

This time, the presentation aspect took center stage. Everything from the refreshments to the reception images carried "news" value. What could be seen as a “tool” for politics, dialogue, has effectively become the “goal.” In a climate of longstanding polarization, the emergence of a dialogue platform is indeed newsworthy. However, if it transitions from being a platform to becoming the primary method of political engagement, it alters the essence of the matter. In Chinese philosophy, there is a tradition:

They do not declare an event entirely good or bad; instead, they offer a proportional assessment, such as “70% good, 30% bad.”

Let us approach the second meeting with this perspective.

***

We will share Erdoğan's view in “Letters to Myself” on Saturday. For now, let's focus on the CHP side.

One significant point is the release of Antalya Kepez Mayor Mesut Kocagöz during the meeting. It reveals much. They didn’t need to be so blatantly obvious!

It appears that news of Kocagöz's release reached the CHP headquarters at the start of the meeting. Perhaps the judge learned about it afterward!

Kocagöz’s detention was political rather than legal; this incident makes it clear.

It’s evident that Özel presented the country's fundamental problems to Erdoğan, as he had shared with the public. In return, Erdoğan seems fixated on a new constitution.

In our previous article, we emphasized that Özel and the CHP's central committee are aware of Erdoğan's strategic plans. Conversely, it’s clear that Özel is pursuing a new political strategy, despite the risks.

Let’s summarize Özel’s past year:

- On June 3, 2023, he became the CHP group leader. Since the then-chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was not a parliament member, a deputy had to lead the parliamentary group.
- On September 15, 2023, he announced his candidacy for party leadership.
- On November 4-5, 2023, he became the 8th chairman of the CHP at the party congress.
- On March 31, 2024, he proved his leadership beyond the chairmanship in the elections.

We can add:

- From May 2 to June 11, 2024, through his meetings with Erdoğan, he embarked on the path to becoming a “statesman.”

***

Recently, two topics have dominated conversations: the economy and the Erdoğan-Özel meeting.

Where does the road ahead lead for Özel?

Let’s address this by highlighting the media’s coverage and special praises for Özel.

If Özel doesn’t absolutize this dialogue, but rather views it as a facet of his political strategy with the primary aim of changing the government, he can grow himself and his party. However, if he starts claiming credit for resolving some issues through these dialogues and aims to solve a few problems in each meeting, he risks appearing as part of the ruling structure. This will diminish both CHP and Özel.

Dialogue is a magical word. Opposing it might be met with cold reception from the public. Thus, of course, discussions will occur.

Pharmacist Özgür Özel must carefully balance this approach. Otherwise, the AKP could overwhelm the CHP.


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