Turkish gov’t may stage operations in N Iraq to woo nationalist votes: CHP head
AA photoMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) could launch new operations in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq, where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is based, in a bid to attract nationalist votes ahead of the April 16 referendum.
Speaking at a meeting in Ankara on Feb. 26, Kılıçdaroğlu said the AKP could devise such a plan by the end of March to boost support from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voters on proposed amendments shifting Turkey to a presidential system of government. Such a move would signal that if the constitutional changes pass, military measures in the fight against terrorism will escalate, he added.
Such a plan was faulty, however, as the PKK has already relocated itself to the other parts of the area, meaning that a potential operation against its base would be essentially pointless.
In his speech, Kılıçdaroğlu also touched on his party’s referendum campaign promoting a “No” vote against the amendments.
Campaign rallies will be kicked off from the Black Sea province of Amasya, a town where the initial steps of Turkish Independence War were taken by the founding father of the modern Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, he said.
The government’s proposed constitutional amendments foresee the introduction of a presidential system in which the current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will have increased executive powers and will have direct ties with the political party of their choice.