Erdoğan urges AKP to place emphasis on Istanbul, big cities in referendum campaign
Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
AP photoWith around three weeks to go to the referendum on shifting Turkey to a presidential system, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials to intensify their campaigning in big cities, particularly Istanbul, as polls remain tight.
Erdoğan expressed his views on the upcoming referendum during a cabinet meeting he chaired on March 20, in which he said weight should be placed on big cities, daily Hürriyet has learned from reliable sources.
Turkey will vote on April 16 on an 18-article constitutional package introducing a shift to an executive presidential system.
During the cabinet meeting, the president reportedly asked about the results of public opinion polls conducted in southeast Turkey. Ministers assured that results were “satisfactory,” but Erdoğan was not happy to hear that “yes” votes were only between 35 and 39 in Diyarbakır.
In the meeting, Erdoğan stressed the importance of avoiding lulls in campaigning, and the AKP has begun to review its campaign program to concentrate on big cities.
It has also suspended its planned campaign program abroad after the recent crises sparked with European countries, notably Germany and the Netherlands.