Former Republican People's Party Chairman and Antalya Deputy Deniz Baykal was the guest on a television show on Monday night. Answering questions like, “Is presidentialism a risk for Turkey or an opportunity?" he went back to a few months and made quite interesting statements. Quoting from him:
“We want Turkey to alleviate its internal conflicts. I want Turkey to reconcile. We missed a serious chance in the June 7 election in relation to Turkey's reconciliation. In the June 7 elections, a reconciliation obligation had reflected on Parliament."
With a question that cut in, giving details of his meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in those days, Baykal continued:
“I didn't visit; the honorable president [invited] me. Back then, Mr. President said, 'This is a complex picture. You are the person who has been in post the longest and who has experienced both the ruling power and opposition. Tell me, what do you think?' I respected this. If the president gets into a search in the face of such a picture and [invites] the main opposition party's former chairman – a man whose thoughts are obvious – and said, 'Come, let's talk,' then this would need to be respected. Both from his aspect and mine. But all hell broke loose asking, 'Why did he go? Did he make a plot?' Just stop for a moment, relax and be serious. I was there with Mr. President for almost three hours. The theme of that meeting was: Mr. President asked, 'What are we going to do?' and I said, 'Don't reject the people's will, in other words, do not get into a mentality like taking revenge from the national will. I see that the old order no longer exists, there will not be a single-party government, but there is probably good in this too. This is probably beneficial too. I know it is beneficial for Turkey. In fact, I think it is beneficial even for you.' Because it is not a good thing for a politician to get everything they want. Turkey should work in an environment where some of the things politicians want do not happen; Turkey needs this and so do you. You can reach an agreement with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) or the CHP. Or [they] can reach an agreement. Please make this easy. Please, let us not take this [to the polls again]. If we do, a lot more will happen, let everybody let go of their egos. These are the kinds of topics we discussed. This was his first meeting and the president had not yet made any announcement. And I have to give it to him, at that stage he had said let's give this a try. It is with this hope that I left [his presence]. The hope of reconciliation."
Up to this point everything is normal. Even though he displayed an angrier and tenser appearance throughout the interview than the Baykal figure we are used to seeing, up to this point we said he, too, wants the country to reach peace like everybody else. However, the former CHP chair followed with such a statement that things changed:
“I believe that if that agreement was reached, there would have been no coup nor would the other crises have reached this point. And today, instead of discussing presidentialism, we would have been easily doing our job. In other words, Turkey needs reconciliation."
Then he repeated the same statement once more and reiterated saying, “If an agreement had been reached on June 7, July 15 would not have happened. If only it had been reached and all this hadn't happened."
This really was a shocking statement. Saying that the establishment of a coalition on June 7 would have stopped the July 15 coup attempt was to accept that the coalition was desired most by the coup plotters. In other words, the coup plotters had attempted a coup because they could not get what they wanted in the general elections. In fact, this was being said by Baykal, one of the CHP's most symbolic names. Yes, “The polls resulted in a coalition. We need to reach an agreement. What the people say goes," and similar statements were some of the most legitimate ones made then and today during the pursuit to establish a coalition. But what makes people's stomachs turn at the likelihood of a coalition is that everyone from the Gülenists [Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)] to the PKK leaders, Western media and leaders were insisting in unison for a coalition to the pro-West and anti-Erdoğan camp. Back then, the statement, “the people want a coalition" gave the feeling that the results from the ballot box were abused for the desire of another will. Baykal's saying, “If an agreement had been reached on June 7, July 15 would not have happened," not only proves the truth of the feelings back then, it also means, “Had a coalition been established, FETÖ would have gotten what it wanted and would not have attempted a coup," and this really is petrifying.
So who was the coalition going to be established with on June 7? As soon as the election results were announced, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli had closed the door to all coalition possibilities and never opened it again. Hence, he was saying no to a coalition both with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and to a Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)-CHP-MHP coalition, which they refer to as the “60-percent bloc." Even though mathematical possibilities suggested an AK Party-CHP and AK Party-HDP alliance, the truth did not go beyond the AK Party-CHP alliance. Thus, the exploratory talks had also taken place between the AK Party and CHP and as we mentioned earlier, everybody from FETÖ to the PKK wanted this coalition to happen. This is why Baykal's statement along the lines that a coup would not have happened if an agreement had been reached almost confirms the “FETÖ and CHP are in alliance" claims deduced from similar statements made back then and the picture that was drawn.
Had a coalition like the one FETÖ wanted been established on June 7, it seems the Gülenists were going to continue their aims and operations to take over the state, regarding which they have been facing obstacles for quite some time now. Baykal saying, “If only an agreement had been reached," shows that he is still in favor of this – and this is even direr. Whereas we used to think he was more national, more “one of us" compared to the other CHP deputies.
What can we say, fortunately a coalition was not established on June 7; fortunately on July 15 the traitors stood out like a sore thumb; fortunately the people used themselves as shields and defeated those heinous coup plotters that night and fortunately, today, for the first time in years, this country has the chance to become physically independent and for the first time, this state has the chance to reflect the people's will.