Thursday, May 8, 2008

"A War of Words": CHP Squares Off Against Lagendijk

The CHP's leadership has decided to stage a rhetorical war with Joost Lagendijk, co-chairman of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission, after Lagendijk made a statement in which he declared the party a "total disaster." As previous posts attest, Lagendijk is far from the only person to make such a claim, but CHP has decided to issue a particularly aggressive response. Lagendijk's concerns centered on CHP's ultra-nationalist rhetoric and its seeming lack of willingness to compromise and work toward EU-inspired reform. Questioning the party's social democratic values is certainly not something that is happening only outside of Turkey, but it will be interesting to see what effect, if any, Lagendijk's criticism will have on CHP voters. Will it rally them closer to the party leadership that in fact has moved the party away from a social democratic agenda, or will it bulwark the arguments of many on the left who have long questioned the direction in which Baykal has taken the party. See my previous posts on the Turkish left and disenchantment with CHP/Baykal.

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