CHP"s challenge with "Mufti"s Goat"* - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

CHP"s challenge with "Mufti"s Goat"*

During CHP, or the Republican People''s Party''s ruling era, the ''Mufti''s'' goat would be stolen and this would have taken place in the partisan media as ''Mufti had stolen the goat''. We had left those days behind and finally we had witnessed the days where the Mufti had acquired most of the votes in CHP Congress. Even this is an indicator that CHP is trying to become modern. CHP had experienced a similar situation in the mid 1960s. The ''traditionalists'' and ''modernists'' within CHP faced off at the Congress in 1966, in which Bülent Ecevit was assigned as the General Secretary. Ecevit desired to expand the voter base with the ''Center Left'' expression. As for the group led by Turhan Feyzioglu, they had accused Ecevit – whom they had characterized as ''Anti-Kemalist''— and his group of shifting the party to the ''Left''.

In 1967, the extraordinary congress convened and some changes were made in the regulations, which will provide discipline within the party and implement unity of opinions and program. Feyzioglu and his 7 friends, whom came face to face with expulsion, had separated from CHP and formed the ''Güven Party'' (Trust Party). Even so, the ''conservative'' wing, which is based on Ismet Pasha, had stayed inside. Ecevit came out victorious from the Congress in 1970. The only obstacle for Ecevit was Ismet Pasha. When Ismet Pasha supported the ''March 12th'' coup, Ecevit resigned from his General Secretary position. The swords had been unsheathed between these two names. After losing the leadership at Congress in 1972, Ismet Pasha had resigned from CHP, the party he founded.

At that time, in 1965, ''Adalet Party''s'' (Justice Party) vote rates were 52.87%. This rate had degraded to 46.53% in 1969 and later in 1973 to 29.8%. As for CHP, their 27.36% vote rates in 1969 had increased and reached 33.29% in 1973, and finally to 42% in 1977. CHP, under Ecevit''s control, had become the winning party in both elections in 1973 and 1977. Let''s see what Ecevit, who had published his budget speech at the Parliament in 1968 into a book called ''This system must change'', had written in the preface part of his new edition book in 1973;

''In this book, which had been written five years ago, there were optimistic words related with the transformation at CHP. The incident that had happened within those five years might leave the impression that my optimism five years ago was untimed. Because some people within the Party, who pretended to adapt their minds to the change but actually couldn''t manage to accept it, had revealed their real intentions in the second half of the five-year period, after the little break in democracy. And taking this chance, they had attempted to stop the flow, which had started to appear recently, and bring CHP to the old days. But the important thing here is they had failed. Even though they had taken the State support behind their backs in an extraordinary regime, they had been unsuccessful. They couldn''t find any other solution than leaving. Thus, the innovation at CHP had become even stronger and abundant…''

In 1968, Ecevit had answered the people, who had accused him of ''renouncing the heritage'', with these words; ''CHP is a revolutionary party. CHP is a party who knows how to modernize itself. CHP is a party, which never denies the past, takes pride in carrying the sins and merits of the past, but which also can renounce its heritage in order to make new moves''. Ecevit had admitted that the ''Single Party'' period had its share in the crisis that Turkey was experiencing. And after pointing out the fact that there were some interventions against CHP''s reform attempts both from the outside and the inside, he said, ''Today CHP got rid of the obstacles within. As for the obstacles outside, we will get rid of them in a short time after the public seizes the system change''. The mentality, which accuses Kemal Kiliçdaroglu of shifting the party to the ''Right'', and the mentality, which accused Ecevit of shifting the party to the ''Left'', are the same. If CHP doesn''t want to become ahistorical, then they have to follow Ecevit''s lead. This is the ''new'' version of an ''old'' story.

*Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law

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