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Turkey's opposition needs youth to challenge AKP

A Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy tells Al-Monitor how his party is failing to capture the youthful dynamism of the country.
Volunteers work on the verification of election results at the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) headquarters in Ankara April 1, 2014. Turkey's main opposition CHP party said on Monday it would appeal against municipal election results in the capital Ankara where it suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party (AKP) on Sunday. The AKP won 44.8 percent of the vote in Ankara to the CHP's 43.9 percent, according to provisional results on Turkish televi

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has consistently failed to dispel the impression of a party in a state of total disarray with little chance of holding power. Its lackluster results in the March 30 local elections, especially in the large metropolitan areas and at a time when the ruling party was the target of a graft probe, threw it further into the doldrums.

As if that report card were not troubling enough, Orhan Oven, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) punched CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the face on April 8 in parliament. The AKP quickly expelled him. Weeks later, on April 22, Bilal Erdogan, son of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, filed a libel lawsuit against Kilicdaroglu, and the police attempted to arrest Safak Pavey, CHP deputy chairman, during May Day celebrations in Istanbul. Thus, the CHP continues to fail in rallying people behind it, and appears cursed in its opposition to the AKP. 

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