Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Feb. 15 said voting “no” in the upcoming referendum on the constitutional amendments would not create an environment of chaos, but voting “yes” would pull the country into a “catastrophe.”
In a meeting with a group of Turkish association and federation representatives in a hotel in Istanbul, Kılıçdaroğlu stressed that the outcome of a popular rejection of the 18-article charter amendments in the referendum results, which is scheduled to take place on April 16, would not cause “chaos” in the country.
“No, on the contrary, the president will continue his duty as president. Mr. Yıldırım will continue his duty as prime minister. The parliament will continue to carry out legislation. It will be passing laws through democratic commissions, by arguing drafts proposals in parliament and by ensuring they are suitable enough. Everybody will carry out their duty within constitutional framework and Turkey will carry on in its usual way,” he said.
He urged people to cast their votes on the referendum day, adding that his party believed in the power of the people.
The CHP on Feb. 14 decided that it would not appeal to the Constitutional Court over the constitutional amendment, which aims to hand over enhanced political powers to the president and shift the current parliamentary system into an executive presidency.
Kılıçdaroğlu stressed that some people were disappointed by the CHP’s decision to not take the matter to the top court but said, “We have trust in our people. The problem is the country’s problem. Therefore people will make the decision.”
Answering a question on what would happen if the amendment was passed in the referendum, he said “the Turkish Republic would be put in an endless adventure.”
“There is no more wrong practice than handing all authorities to one person’s hand. This does not have a similar example around the world either. One person will come up and say ‘I will appoint judges, I will appoint prosecutors, I will appoint ambassadors, I will appoint executives, I will change the state system of Turkey all by myself.’ This is a catastrophe. An adventure that has no end,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
He said the current situation in Syria and Iraq was a result of one-man regimes, noting that introducing such charter amendments would pull Turkey into a quagmire that would end up resembling its neighboring countries.
Following the meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu met Syrian journalist Hüsnü Mahalli, who was released recently after being detained over charges of “insulting the president and public employees.”