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71Ecevit, not surprisingly, accused the CHP of exploiting the symbol of Atatürk.72In the end, the DSP received a plurality of the vote and the CHP found itself unable to pass the 10 percent threshold and remained out of politics. 67“Çiller‟e ağır suçlama,”Radikal, 13 April 1999. For another example of Ecevit‟s moderate discourse, see “Ecevit: Çiller hırcın,” Radikal, 11 April 1999. 68“Laik Cumhuriyeti ödünsüz koruyacağız,” CHP advertisement, Cumhuriyet, 15 April 1999; see also the advertisement by the CHP regarding Atatürk in Cumhuriyet, 17 April 1999. 69For more on this see, Esra Özyürek, Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey(Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006). 70See also, Yael Navaro-Yashin, Faces of the State: Secularism and Public Life in Turkey(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002). 71“Baykal: Yılmaz yargılansın,” Radikal, 12 April 1999. 72“Ecevit kendini kutladı,” Radikal, 10 April 1999.
380 In 2002, with the emergence of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the impending retirement of Bülent Ecevit due to ailing health, the CHP tried to conveniently slide into the space left by the fading DSP, and thus suddenly presented itself as a moderately (friend of the devout) secularist party. Baykal toured the country with the party‟s new members, Kemal Derviş and Yaşar Nuri Öztürk, the former a well-known economist and former member of the World Bank and the latter a well-known religious scholar with a famous translation of the Qur‟an into Turkish. Thus, with Baykal pictured in every photo-op with these two men, he symbolically seemed to be directing the “center-left” party with liberal economy on one side and rational religion on the other. In stark contrast to his earlier discourse, he began to mix religious language into his speeches, pronouncing expressions such as “if we are not ableto make you happy, may God withhold this office from us”73and, for the winners of the election, “those upon whom God rained down favor.”74References to “sin,” “morals” and the “Kaaba” peppered the political leader‟s speeches, and he began to pause his speeches when the ezanwas being read from the mosque.75Though the CHP was still trying to attract the secularist voters, who often communicated that they voted for the party in light of the threat of religious society not out of desire,76Baykal seemed to be trying to, at 73“Baykal: Oyumuzu satmayın,” Cumhuriyet, 16 October 2002. 74“Baykal: Bizim alnımız „ak‟,” Radikal, 30 October 2002. 75“Hesap sorun, şimdi öfke zamanı,” Cumhuriyet, 4 October 2002; “Erzakı al, oy verme,” Radikal, 16 October 2002; “Baykal: Oyumuzu satmayın,” Cumhuriyet, 16 October 2002; “Hedefimiz önce insan,” Cumhuriyet, 17 October 2002; 76“Baykal: Laikliğe sahip çıkın,” Cumhuriyet, 20 October 2002; “Sol kerhen CHP diyor,” Cumhuriyet, 24 October 2002; “Birleşme adresi CHP,” Cumhuriyet, 16 October 2002.
381 least superficially, soften the anti-religious rhetoric in order to open the party more toward the center and the right.