President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Voting against constitutional changes that will bring about the executive presidential system will “benefit the [outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party] PKK,” and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) aims to underline this throughout its campaign.
“If I say ‘no,’ my vote will be going to Kandil. If I say ‘no,’ this country will head to instability. If I say ‘no,’ my vote will go to a place where there is no atmosphere of trust,” Erdoğan told reporters on his return from Pakistan to Turkey on March 2, referring to the PKK headquarters in northern Iraq.
“Kandil says its vote is ‘no’ and it is encouraging ‘no’ votes. We cannot ignore that. We have to dwell on this issue. This terrorist organization has taken 35,000 lives so far. If such an organization says ‘no,’ we have to inform our public about that,” he said, referring to the ongoing operation against PKK groups in Mardin and Nusaybin.
“In the latest operations in [the southeastern province of] Mardin, there were tunnels and underground cities under the houses that our security agencies entered. They say 1,500 people can live in those tunnels. If you say ‘no,’ your vote goes there. Are we not going to tell this to the citizens?” Erdoğan added.
The president said the AKP was conducting field work and would continue to hold rallies as well as local meetings across the country.
“I am doing what is my due. The AKP leader and its cadre is also in the field carrying out work. The MHP is also carrying out work. We are a committee working for ‘yes’ in solidarity. We will keep doing that,” Erdoğan said, referring to the Nationalist Movement Party, which is collaborating with the AKP in the bid to shift Turkey to an executive presidential system.
Erdoğan also touched on the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) campaign, saying he appreciated its “positive approach.”
“Everyone should respect each other. Positive discourse is a nice thing. But the fundamental thing is what people will infer from this. Our beloved Prophet has a phrase: ‘Actions are shaped by their intentions.’ What is the intention in your actions? The people know very well. The people will read intentions very well,” he said.
Responding to a question regarding the latest polls, Erdoğan said there is still a significant number of people who are “undecided” about their votes, but he expects this number to drop as campaigning accelerates.
“There is an undecided segment that is at a considerable number. This segment has not yet been able to understand the issue. That will be clarified and our citizens will decide on their direction,” he said.
“This awareness is increasing day by day. The squares are mobilizing. Our people have begun to grasp the issue,” he added.