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Will the crowds now vote for CHP-DSP ?

Friday 25 May 2007, by Ilnur Cevik

Source : TNA, 21 May 2007

So the “Republic” rallies which became a show of force for the secularists in Turkey have ended. The rally is Samsun was of course not as impressive as the huge rally in Izmir last week or the crowded affairs in Ankara and Istanbul but once again it showed that there is enthusiasm in every corner of the country for people to turn out and wave their flags declaring Turkey is secular and will remain secular.

But will this enthusiasm and show of force be translated into votes for the left wing alliance that has been forged by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP)?

It is clear that the leaders of the two parties who were criticized last week for not creating an elections alliance have now set up their united front and want the rally crowds to give them the votes that will allow them to seriously challenge the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party…

Like President Ahmet Necdet Sezer who seems to be acting like the cheer leader of the left-wing alliance the leaders have called on the rally crowds to turn up at the ballot box so that their protests have a meaning and can make an impact where it counts…

But will this be enough?

We have united so we deserve your votes” may sound sweet but will it really do the trick? Will the secularists out of sheer fear that the AK Party will remain in power flock to the polling stations to help the CHP-DSP alliance?

We feel this is a simplistic approach that really undermines the maturity of the Turkish voters.

The people wanted change in 2002 and felt the only party that was not tarnished with power, corruption and favoritism was the AK Party of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The change did not come as much as we wanted but at least we got stability and development that came with this stability. The masses still want substantial change where corruption and irregularities are part of history.

Can the CHP-DSP alliance offer any way out for the masses? We doubt this.

They still do not have a viable economic program to offer an alternative to what has been done until now by the AK Party. They do not have any social programs.

As a matter of fact the CHP has been tested as an opposition party and has failed to come up with anything that is constructive. CHP simply spent all its time and energy to stall the AK Party at all costs and did not produce viable alternative plans. On the contrary by making nationalist statements it lost its social democrat identity and was regarded further to the right-wing than the ultranationalists. Does the DSP have anything to offer to the masses in this regard besides saying Turkey will remain secular?

The CHP and the DSP for that matter seem to be anti-European Union and anti-American. They have to clarify this position.

Turkey is entering a crucial period in the next few months where it has to decide where it stands in world politics. What do we do about Iraq? What do we do about the Kurds of Iraq? What do we do with the growing strength of the Russian Federation?

The rich have become richer in Turkey but the masses have grown power… How will we tackle this problem?
This is what the masses want to hear from the CHP-DSP alliance…

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