Say ‘no’ in referendum for future of Turkey: Main opposition head

Say ‘no’ in referendum for future of Turkey: Main opposition head

Say ‘no’ in referendum for future of Turkey: Main opposition head

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The leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said called on everyone who cares about Turkey’s future to vote “no” in an upcoming referendum that will decide whether the current parliamentary system will be converted into an executive presidency.

“The presidential regime is not about a party, it’s an issue of the country. Every citizen who thinks about the future of their children and the Turkish Republic should say ‘no,’” CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu wrote on his Twitter account on Feb. 8.

“As we are trying to tell why we are going to say ‘no,’ the only thing that the government does is defame those who say ‘no.’ That’s because there is no reason to say ‘yes’ to this charter. ‘No,’ all the way to the ruling of the mind that ruins foreign policy and the economy, resurrects terror and delivers the state to [the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] FETÖ,” he said. 

Kılıçdaroğlu also said the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had not been able to rule the country over the past 15 years. 

Turkey will hold a referendum in mid-April to decide whether to change the government system into an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the president or to protect the current parliamentary system. 

The “yes” side is endorsed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the AKP and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). 

Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the expulsion of academics from the universities with the new state of emergency decree, describing it as “lawlessness.” 

“They want to silence the opposing voices with the excuse of FETÖ and the stick of state of emergency decrees. This lawlessness should end,” he tweeted. 

Turkey issued a state of emergency decree late on Feb. 7, paving the way for the expulsions of a total of 4,464 public workers, including 330 academics. 

CHP spokesperson Selin Sayek Böke also criticized the expulsions of academics, saying each coup first silences the universities.

“Yesterday, with a sneaky midnight decree, many valuable academics of Turkey were dismissed. As of yesterday, the noble institution that trained the people of the republic, the Mekteb-i Mülkiye (School of Civil Service) was destroyed. As of yesterday, the university was destroyed in Turkey,” Böke said in a press meeting after the central executive board meeting of her party Feb. 8.

“We are not experiencing this for the first time; each coup silences the universities first. Putschists are afraid of science, universities and enlightenment thinking the most,” she also said. 

“The rectors who are not protecting their university, their teachers and the scientists abandoning [schools] to the authoritarian power and cooperating with this darkness have gone down into this dark history with this government,” she said.