Opposition parties begin soul-searching after heavy defeat in Nov. 1 election

After their heavy defeat in the Nov. 1 snap election and the sweeping victory of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the opposition parties that managed to enter Parliament have begun a period of soul-searching in order to consider how to regain the trust of voters.
Opposition parties the Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) have started questioning what led to their defeat by the AK Party in Sundayand’s election by holding assessment meetings with their party leaders, intra-party opposition and grassroots.
According to the unofficial results of the election, the AK Party regained its majority in Parliament to form a single-party government, winning 49.3 percent of the vote. However, the HDP and the nationalist MHP suffered a shock as their share of the vote dropped from 13 to 10.45 percent and 16 to 11.95 percent, respectively.
The main opposition CHP only slightly increased its votes in Sundayand’s repeat election, disappointing the party whose members expected to obtain up to 30 percent of the vote. Instead, the CHP won 25.3 percent of the vote, up a mere 0.4 percent from the 24.9 percent it won in the June election.
Reports in the Turkish media underlined that the voters who urged opposition parties to establish a coalition government through conciliation talks in the wake of the June 7 election punished them after they failed to do so.
Immediately after the result of the June 7 elections was announced, MHP leader Devlet Bahandceli said that the party wouldnand’t be a part of any government that included the HDP. Bahandceli also rejected the AK Partyand’s offer to form a coalition government.
The CHP emerged as the only party that was eager to discuss different alternatives to form a coalition government after June 7, including with the AK Party. However, the CHPand’s efforts were in vain because President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didnand’t give a mandate to CHP Chairman Kemal Kiliandcdaroilu after Kiliandcdaroilu refused to visit him at the newly built presidential palace in the Beitepe neighborhood of Ankara, claiming that the building was illegally constructed on Atatandurk Forest Farm (AOandc) land.
h2 Former CHP deputy calls for congress, announces his candidacy for leadershiph2 On Wednesday, former Istanbul deputy and CHP Deputy Chairman Umut Oran called on Kiliandcdaroilu to hold an extraordinary congress as soon as possible to discuss ways to restore trust in the party after its failure to make the desired gains in Sundayand’s election. Oran also announced his candidacy for the partyand’s chairmanship.
Kiliandcdaroilu said in a press statement late on election night that the result had placed further responsibility on the partyand’s shoulders. The CHPand’s leaders are expected to discuss the election results in detail in the coming days. Underlining that his party respects the election results, Kiliandcdaroilu said that decisive steps towards change would be made in his party.
h2 MHPand’s intra-party opposition considers Akiener for party chairmanh2 According a report in the SandOzcandu daily on Wednesday, the MHPand’s intra-party opponent delegates are planning to get the signatures of at least 249 out of 1,241 delegates to gather an early party congress, according to its bylaws. SandOzcandu noted that possible contenders against Bahandceli in an extraordinary congress could be party figures such as former deputy speaker of Parliament and Interior Minister Meral Akiener, former Iidir deputy Sinan Oian, MHP founder Alparslan Turkeiand’s close friend and former party secretary Dr. Selim Kaptanoilu and former MHP Eskiiehir deputy Gandun Sazakand’s son Sanduleyman Servet Sazak. The former head of the MHPand’s izmir party branch, Mandusavat Derviioilu, who also ran against Bahandceli in the 2012 MHP party congress, may also run for chairperson.
However, the dissenters in the MHP want Akiener, who was excluded by Bahandceli from running in the Nov. 1 election, to be the single candidate running against Bahandceli. After coming under pressure from opposition figures within the MHP and people in the grass roots of the party, Akiener reportedly said she would decide before this weekend whether or not she will be a candidate in an extraordinary MHP congress.
According to HDP deputies, the results from Sundayand’s election show that the party no longer has a problem in passing the 10 percent election threshold, which for years remained the biggest obstacle preventing pro-Kurdish parties from entering Parliament.
HDP Mersin deputy Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat said in a press conference on Wednesday that the 2 percent lost by the HDP went to the AK Party because of the governmentand’s repressive policies in the countryand’s southeastern provinces. However, Firat also said that the rising violence and the ditches dug by the youth wing of the Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) in the Southeast disturbed Kurds a lot. Firat said the people of the region had suffered much during clashes between the PKK and the security forces.
According to HDP spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen, the rising tensions in the region were successful in luring many Kurdish voters back to the AK Party. Bilgen said in a press conference on Wednesday that the economic difficulties of Kurds, attacks on HDP buildings, the criminalization of the HDP and the cancellation of election rallies by the party due to the potential for further bomb attacks were influencing factors in the HDP losing 2 percent of that the model of citizen journalism used at 140journos is lacking in the world he also adds that the site is intent on increasing the level of sensitivity it already shows to sharing news from all across the board, and its connections to popular culture.
140journos is careful to lighten some of the news with jokes, but without altering content while doing so. One example was reporting about the takeover of the ipek Media Group, provided with background music from a series from Samanyolu TV. andOnder explains: and”This was related to something that got joked about a lot on social media — the names in Samanyolu TV series that were made up of some five to six words.
andquotWe used this joke. We have this 30-second image of the takeover, but no jokes at all in the news text. Then, with the music playing at the same time, we wrote a long name: andlsquoThe police intervention against the crowd gathered to protest in front of the station taken over by the state trustee.and’ So people who donand’t really know about this subject are at least able to find something that gets them up to speed.
andquotWe need to steal about 30 seconds from people. It might be hard to get the message through to someone living in Moda if we were to use the classic sort of andlsquobreaking newsand’ technique, but when we do it like this, we elicit reactions like andlsquowow, there really is some tyranny hereand’ from people.and”
h2 Schools should be made to watch footage of live raidsh2 In the meantime, 140journos has been showing plenty of images and news about the most recent raids on the media in Turkey. and”Itand’s because thereand’s just so much material right now. andhellip And the images are really interesting. The moment when the police busted in and a hand covered up the camera that journalist Tarik Toros was using to film live was unbelievable. You could take that image and show it in schools,and” says andOnder.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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