Sources say Tekin was unhappy about some members of the Central Executive Board (MYK) and had told CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu that he did not want to work with them in the MYK. Tekin, the second most powerful man in the CHP, was appointed as deputy chairman after a lengthy struggle and much infighting between Kılıçdaroğlu and the opposition within the party. Previously, he was the chairman of the CHP’s İstanbul provincial branch, a highly important position as the İstanbul branch has the greatest influence within the party. In June of last year, he had to step down as İstanbul provincial chairman.
Columnists agree Tekin is an indispensible figure for the CHP for he is one of the masterminds behind the party’s policy of renewal and represents the party’s attempts to reach voters.
Zaman’s Mustafa Ünal says it was no secret that Tekin and some of his friends were discontent with the policies of the party’s MYK. However, Ünal says, disagreements are indispensible, even required, in politics. Kılıçdaroğlu could have dealt with this discontent before it turned into a huge crisis; but instead he preferred to ignore it. Ünal highlights that Tekin is not an ordinary man for Kılıçdaroğlu; he is the leader’s sidekick in a way, supporting him throughout his candidacy for CHP chairman. Ünal also notes that Tekin was the one drawing the CHP away from a staunch ideological line and opening the party up to new segments of society. He was the one saying, “Headscarved women are welcomed in the CHP” for the first time. He not only dealt with political issues, but also with social ones. Ünal says if Tekin leaves the party, the CHP will lose an important mediator with the voters. Political messages relayed on TV screens are not enough for a party to gain credibility. Getting onto the streets and talking with people is indispensible, Ünal says, adding that the CHP will be struck by a great earthquake when Tekin is gone.
Thinking of the reasons why Tekin resigned, Sabah’s Sevilay Yükselir says that contrary to many arguing the opposite, Tekin did not resign because he had to step down as İstanbul provincial chairman. The reason for his resignation, according to Yükselir, is the tension he has been experiencing during MYK meetings. People that he had once been planning the party’s policies and working hard side by side with to promote the discourse of a “new CHP” are now avoiding handing responsibilities to Tekin and sharing their plans with him. He was among the MYK members in appearance, yet he was isolated from the board’s operation. Instead he was mingling with the CHP voters on the streets. He has even gone to a number of Anatolian provinces to meet with his party’s supporters. Yükselir says his hopes from the MYK have entirely vanished now and his plan is to announce his run for the party’s leadership.
In his article “Why has the love between Kılıçdaroğlu and Tekin ended?” another Sabah columnist, Mahmut Övür, says both Kılıçdaroğlu and Tekin were the main actors of the so-called “new CHP” and the fact that they are parting ways with each other indicates a crisis within the new CHP. Övür points to the synergy between Kılıçdaroğlu and Tekin and says Kılıçdaroğlu failed to make use of this synergy, which is rarely found in politics, and thereby damaged his own political career as well as the party by ignoring Tekin’s significant role in the party.