Turkey’s CHP marks 100th anniversary

Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of its foundation by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

The CHP launched the 3-day long 100th Anniversary Events on Sept. 8 in front of its headquarters in the capital Ankara (Photo: CHP)

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Sept. 9 marked the 100th anniversary of its foundation. 

Founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the CHP is the oldest active party in Turkish politics at the moment.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on the morning of Sept. 9 visited Anıtkabir within the scope of the 100th Anniversary Events of the CHP and laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the CHP and the Republic of Turkey.

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu visiting the Anıtkabir mausoleum on Sept. 9 (AA)

Kılıçdaroğlu wrote for Atatürk in the Anıtkabir Special Book that “Your vision of creating an advanced, contemporary nation paved the way for the lasting legacy of the Republican People's Party. As the founder of the Republic of Turkey and our party, your unwavering commitment to the principles of democracy, social justice and secularism and your forward-thinking continue to inspire us. We continue our struggle for the peace and prosperity of our nation with the awareness of carrying this vision into the future and creating a more equal, fair and inclusive society.”

The CHP remained in power between 1923-1950, mostly in a single party regime, under the leaderships of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and İsmet İnönü, launching several reform packages under the promise of turning the country into a modern society.

Since its foundation, the CHP has had seven different chairs. The party was closed by the military regime after the coup in 1980, taking its place on the political scene again with its former leader Deniz Baykal in 1992.

On the other hand, CHP Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu penned a letter for the centenary of the party in the daily Cumhuriyet, once again emphasizing the need for change within the party following the election loss.

“We are entering the second century of our Republic in a social mood in which the belief that the government can change has diminished. We cannot accept this situation. We have to confront CHP's contribution to this situation.  I believe that both CHP and Turkey will change,” İmamoğlu said in the letter. 

“My analysis is this: If CHP changes, Turkey will change. My promise is this: CHP will change, Turkey will change,” he added.

This year, the joint candidate of the opposition Nation Alliance Kılıçdaroğlu lost the presidential election against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by receiving 47.82 percent of the votes in the second round of the race on May 28.

Moreover, the CHP received 25.41 percent of the votes in the May 14 parliamentary elections, falling short of expectations, ending up having 169 seats in the parliament out of 600 while leaving the majority to the ruling alliance. 39 deputies out of 169 were from other alliance parties.