Europeans working for ‘yes’ side: Main opposition
ANKARAEuropean countries are working to ensure a “yes” vote emerges in the April 16 Turkish referendum on charter changes, Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said March 13.
“These governments are definitely supporting the ‘yes’ vote. How can you send back the plane of a country’s foreign minister? It is done to create disorder,” he said.
An unprecedented crisis between Turkey and prominent European countries, notably Germany and the Netherlands, has been dominating the agenda in the last two weeks after the countries refused to permit Turkish ministers to campaign in their countries. The Dutch government denied flight clearance to Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s plane to Rotterdam on March 11, touching off a bilateral spat.
“And [Justice and Development Party - AKP] say, ‘We are the victims.’ For God’s sake, who is the victim? Please, be assured, I wholeheartedly believe that these are Europeans who most want a ‘yes’ to come out of the referendum,” Kılıçdaroğlu told a parliamentary group meeting of the CHP on March 14. “Why do they allow such a crisis? Their newspapers headlines say ‘vote no.’ What does it mean? It means vote yes.”
Kılıçdaroğlu also accused the AKP of trying to stir up enmity to win votes. “They could not find an internal enemy; now they want to create an enemy abroad,” Kılıçdaroğlu told private broadcaster Star TV late on March 13.
The AKP is also using state resources while campaigning for the upcoming referendum, he said. “They are using the state’s planes, they are committing offenses. They are ignoring the laws they have legislated and campaigning [abroad].”
Kılıçdaroğlu recalled that a law that was legislated in 2008 prohibited political parties from campaigning abroad and in Turkey’s diplomatic missions and that the AKP was violating the law it had initiated a decade ago.
“They [the Netherlands] say, ‘Don’t come here, we have elections.’ Who is saying this? The prime minister of the Netherlands. Why are you going there? In order to carry out election and referendum campaigns. What is the law saying? ‘It is forbidden to make election propaganda abroad or at missions abroad,’” he said March 13.
Saying that regardless of political differences, the CHP wanted the ministers to be accepted in all countries, adding that they “absolutely” did not find the treatment by the countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, correct.
“This is our country, we can have separate views. They are the ministers are of this country. So, we want them to be accepted in the Netherlands, Germany or wherever they go,” he said.
In order to find a solution regarding the diplomatic tension, “the mind of the state and the language of diplomacy should take control,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“In order for a solution, the mind of the state and language of diplomacy should prevail. It cannot work with harsh statements. No one should trick the public by engaging in lofty stories about heroism. You are a government, do what you are going to do. I said, ‘We will give you all kinds of support,’” he added.