The April 16 referendum on constitutional changes will be the day when “tutelage is destroyed,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, comparing the day to July 16, 2016, the day after the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“God willing, we will bring a day where Turkey has destroyed the tutelage, ambitions and dreams of powers outside of democracy, just as we woke to daylight after darkness on the morning of July 16,” Yıldırım said in a speech at the International Democracy Congress in Ankara on March 2, once again praising citizens for “standing up against the coup-plotters.”
“You disrupted their dirty ambitions by closing the doors of the barracks that these traitors were trying to exit with heavy machinery and vehicles all over Turkey. You are the heroes of July 15 and I’m proud of you. With these efforts, you prevented the further loss of lives. Thank you,” he added.
Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 to decide whether to change the government system into an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the president.
The “yes” vote is endorsed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are campaigning for a “no” vote.
Saying a “democracy epic” was written on the night of the thwarted coup, Yıldırım noted that Turkey is “now stronger” and ready to realize major changes.
He said the executive presidential system will fill gaps caused by the current parliamentary system.