Following İmamoğlu, CHP İzmir Mayor Soyer also calls for change within party

Turkish main opposition CHP’s İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer has released a written statement “New Politics Document,” and demanded change within his party following the electoral loss. Soyer said a comprehensive “Self-Criticism Meeting” should be held, adding that the party should return to its original left-social-democratic stance. The move came after CHP Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said a radical change was needed within the party.

Duvar English

Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer on June 21 released a statement called “New Politics Document,” demanding change and self-criticism within his party after the electoral loss.

He reminded that the 2023 elections were not “fair” since the CHP faced a party-state. “This is not an excuse for the loss of the election. This is the definition of a reality and the acceptance that the necessary reactions could not be realized in the process of integrating this formation with the state.” Soyer said this party-state integration weakened the state and state capacity.

“Unfortunately, on the grounds of the well-being of the (main opposition Nation) alliance, the left-social-democratic rhetoric has been avoided. This situation encouraged those who applauded the CHP becoming right-wing. However, we have a lot to say for this country, for this world. These words find their source in the universal values of social democracy,” he noted.

Soyer said some CHP members see the party “as a simple institution that can be used for their own career or popularity.”

Soyer stated “As a Japanese proverb says, ‘Defeat teaches, not victory.’ We have no doubt that the CHP has shortcomings and flaws, and that a change is needed. We need a new understanding of organization that will bring dynamism and flexibility to the party that can keep up with the changes in the world and the country.”

He said the party firstly needs to increase the number of its members, which is around 1,350,000, two-three times as soon as possible. “CHP membership has to be a part of a voluntary struggle.”

“One of the six main principles of the CHP is Revolutionism. In this framework, it is expected that a comprehensive ‘Self-Criticism Meeting’ should be held. Deficiencies, mistakes and things to be done should be determined. Even if the CHP is criticized on many issues, it is the most basic institution that will develop this country by preserving the ideals of the Republic,” he said and added that the party should immediately renew the party constitution and make it more democratic.

He also said “Politics is not, and should not be, a show staged by the political elite and the society watching, applauding or protesting. The way for the participation of the millions in the decision-making mechanisms should be paved. If you are fighting against a party-state, or if a party is taking over the state by exploiting the power from the ballot box, the need for society to be a genuine subject is higher than ever.”

Soyer’s statement came after the electoral loss of the CHP and Kılıçdaroğlu, and CHP Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu’s calls for a radical change within the party.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan beat CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in the second round of the presidential elections on May 28 with 52.18 percent of the votes.

In the May 14 parliamentary elections, the CHP received 25.41 percent of the votes, falling short of expectations, ending up having 169 seats in the parliament out of 600 while leaving the majority to the ruling alliance.

After President Erdoğan’s election victory, İmamoğlu said that change is inevitable and they cannot expect different outcomes with the same methods.

The leader of the CHP since 2010, Kılıçdaroğlu has yet shown no intention to resign.