Erdoğan says ‘game over’ after referendum, CHP says ‘only first half has finished’

Erdoğan says ‘game over’ after referendum, CHP says ‘only first half has finished’

ANKARA
Erdoğan says ‘game over’ after referendum, CHP says ‘only first half has finished’

The former leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Deniz Baykal, has suggested that the party will continue to fight against the constitutional amendment passed in the April 16 referendum shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system, saying the vote created a “constitutional crisis.” 

“We have a score to settle in 2019. The game will be over in 2019,” Baykal said on April 21.

His comments came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded to the CHP’s opposition to the referendum results with a sporting analogy, saying a “win is a win.”

“It doesn’t matter if you win 1-0 or 5-0. The ultimate goal is to win the game,” Erdoğan said in televised interview on CNN International on April 19.  

In response, Baykal developed the football analogy in reference to questions over irregularities in the vote, saying there are debates over the “legitimacy of the goal.” 

“This picture is not one where the game is over. There is a claim that the goal came from offside, but the match has not finished yet. There is a second half,” he said. 

Reiterating the CHP’s objections to the constitution, Baykal said the narrow margin of votes indicates a problem of legitimacy. 

“The result is 50-50 and we are going to make a constitution based on that? 50 plus 1 percent decides power, but it cannot decide a constitution. A constitution cannot be made with 51 percent of the vote. This can only lead to a constitutional crisis,” he said. 

“This constitutional amendment was not prepared at parliament. It was not duly negotiated at parliament. The ones who signed it effectively signed a blank document. The process at the commission and the general assembly in parliament were all a fait accompli. It was not a process in which Turkey could observe or participate as a country. What’s more, platforms beyond parliament were also not included; in fact they were excluded,” Baykal added. 

PM: Opposition’s actions are not democratic

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım blasted Baykal’s comments, saying the opposition did not follow the public will. 

“The beaten wrestler never wants to stop wrestling,” Yıldırım said. 

“If they are adopting such a path it is not a democratic road. It means they cannot digest the people’s decision. It means that they could not internalize it. That would not be suitable for the main opposition party,” he added. 

He also slammed the CHP for “not being consistent.” 

“We cannot even understand who is making what declaration. There is nothing but a big cacophony over there,” Yıldırım said.