Turkey will get rid of terror with new charter: PM Yıldırım
AA photoAll terror organizations targeting Turkey will be eliminated with the help of the new constitution if it is approved by the public in an April 16 referendum, Turkey’s prime minister has said.
Speaking at the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) first official “yes” rally in Ankara’s Kahramankazan district, PM Binali Yıldırım said on Feb. 26 that with the new charter, Turkey would “get rid of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and DAESH,” using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Holding the first official “yes” rally in Kahramankazan was a calculated move for the AKP. The Akıncı air base, the headquarters of the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, is located in the district, and its name was changed from Kazan to Kahramankazan (Heroic Kazan) with a decree to hail the people killed while trying to stop the coup soldiers on the night of the attempt.
“People of the Turkey will get rid of a life with terror,” the prime minister said in his speech. “Turkey will see its future more clearly,” Yıldırım added, pledging that there would be no “warplanes dropping bombs from the skies, but children flying kites.”
He promised “a more livable beautiful country,” saying the new constitution would bring peace to the country.
Responding to criticisms that the new charter would bring one-man rule, Yıldırım said: “What else would it be? Would there be two captains behind a steering wheel?”
He called on voters of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Republican People’s Party (CHP), which are leading the “no” campaign,” and urged them vote “yes.”
“Let’s put our political differences aside. The rest is just details if the matter is the country,” he said.
The meeting in Kahramankazan came one day after the AKP officially launched its campaign in Ankara.
“We are taking the first step toward establishing tomorrow’s strong Turkey,” Yıldırım told a crowd at Arena Stadium on Feb. 25.
Yıldırım handed carnations to the crowd while entering the 40,000-person capacity sports complex, which was decorated with Turkish flags. Some 6,500 police officers secured the stadium and nearby streets.
The complex was also decorated with pictures of Turkey’s founding leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Yıldırım. Campaign songs titled as “We say ‘yes,’” “Millions of ‘yeses’” and “Strong Turkey with ‘yes,’” for the referendum were also played.
A “yes” campaign highlighting developments in the economy, transportation, health sectors and public works projects under the ruling party were shown to the crowd. One video featured footage from the July 2016 failed coup attempt and the bombing of the Turkish parliament.
“Change is difficult, reform is tough, but those who resist change because it is difficult, tough, or dangerous will disappear from history’s stage,” Yıldırım said.
“Cowards would never erect a monument to victory,” he added.
Yıldırım also explained the 18-item reform bill to the crowd in detail.
“The constitutional change that we are taking to a public vote will complete the unfinished business that was started in 2007,” he said, referring to a constitutional referendum that year which paved the way for direct election of the president.
“In fact, an important step for the presidential system was taken in 2007,” he added.
The premier also said the new bill would enable around 7.5 million Turkish young people to seek seats in parliament.
He called on young supporters in the arena to go door-to-door in Turkey’s 81 provinces to ask people to vote for “yes.”
“This change is a historic opportunity for our country,” Yıldırım said, adding that strong leadership would prevent Turkey from facing any repeat of the coup attempt.
Yıldırım said that under the new system, the economy would have a stronger, steadier and healthier foundation.
“Thanks to stability, investments and production will rise and new job opportunities will be provided,” he said.
On April 16, the electorate will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” to an 18-article reform bill that would shift the current parliamentary system to an executive presidency.
The “yes” campaign is backed by the AKP and the leadership of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).