Turan Yılmaz – ANKARA
With “Yes” votes winning a narrow majority in the April 16 constitutional referendum, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has started to analyze the source of the votes, and according to initial party evaluations three percentage points of “Yes” votes came from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), while 1.5 percentage points came from Kurdish party voters.
“Around 3 percentage points [of the total] came from MHP [voters] and 1.5 percentage points came from [Peoples’ Democratic Party] voters. Among our voters there was a relaxation mood stemming from reluctance or opposition toward the package,” a senior government source told daily Hürriyet on April 18.
According to unofficial results, “Yes” voters won 51.4 percent of the votes in the referendum on whether to shift Turkey to an executive presidential system.
“It looks like the situation we saw in the polls was reflected in the referendum results. ‘No’ votes increase in parallel with the increase in education level and with voters from urban areas. We couldn’t obtain the results we wanted among young new voters,” the source also said.
AKP group deputy spokesperson Mustafa Elitaş had on April 17 said it is “useless to search for how many votes came from which party.”
“When the constitutional change was voted in parliament, some 339 lawmakers said ‘yes’ to it. But we said,
‘The decision and the word belong to the people.’ We didn’t feel the need to find out who voted ‘yes’ and who voted ‘no’ or how many AKP and MHP voters broke ranks to vote ‘no’ in the voting in parliament. Now in the referendum 51.4 percent of the ‘yes’ votes are significant and this is not an issue of which party voted what,” Elitaş said.