‘No’ vote would drag Turkey into messy situation, Bahçeli claims
UMUT ERDEM - ANKARATurkey would be dragged into an even messier situation if the public votes against the constitutional amendment in the upcoming referendum, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said after his meeting with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to discuss their campaignsin the “yes” camp.
“The MHP will carry out its campaign by its own means, with its own style, on its own grounds. Other parties can also vote ‘yes,’ that is their right. If that is the case, if there is unity in the aim, it will be useful to use concepts in a similar fashion to prevent any contradictions,” Bahçeli told reporters on Feb. 9 after meeting with Yıldırım.
Answering questions concerning the MHP’s strategy in the upcoming referendum, he stressed that it would “conduct its own campaign.”
“We have been a legal entity for 48 years. Preserving this entity, we will continue to work on the referendum on the constitutional amendment. There can be unity of aim, but there can also be different discourse on different occasions on different grounds,” Bahçeli said.
“We will have a new slogan: ‘We have made an essential oath to this country. For this oath, yes!’” he added.
Bahçeli also reiterated his earlier comments about the “no” camp, claiming that terrorist organizations could take advantage of the situation.
“Turkey is on the verge of very serious danger. Turkey could slip into serious turmoil and there could be some domestic and external groups that want to take advantage of that,” he said in response to a reporter’s question asking whether “Turkey will be divided” in the event of a “no” vote.
“If the ‘no’ votes are utilized for organizing [illegal groups], extra attention should be paid,” he added.
“Some organizations say the ‘no’ campaign should be carried out in order to get a result in line with their organizational goals. The [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] FETÖ is one of them,” Bahçeli said, referring to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Trump should act differently than Obama
The MHP head also stated that the new U.S. administration should act differently from former President Barack Obama’s “bad international policies.”
“Obama’s policies didn’t bring any good for Turkey. If [Trump] does not want to be like [Obama], he should abandon these policies. I believe it would be beneficial for the world and the Middle East to expect that,” he said, while expressing skepticism about the recent visit to Ankara of the new CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
“The CIA should not be trusted much,” Bahçeli said.