For decades they ruled Turkey, upholding the republic’s secular values. On Sunday, despite picking up three and a half million more votes than in 2007, the CHP could only come second with nearly 26 percent of the vote. They appear nowhere near breaking the AKP’s grip on power.
It is however something of a revival from the low of four years ago, and the CHP’s new leader is aiming for much better in the future.
“We always had confidence in democracy. We always advocate democracy. I wish good luck to the Justice and Development Party, but they shouldn’t forget that we are now even stronger than before 1980,” said leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
The CHP’s stated ambition is to return to power in four years time, although they polled even better in the 2009 local elections, when they got 29 percent of the vote. Failure to match that may lead to some leadership in-fighting.