Turkey is going to have a crucial referendum on April 16 that is likely to be a revolutionary step. It has a chance to adopt a new Constitution as a result of this referendum by getting rid of the current one that was penned by the junta regime after the 1980 coup d'etat. The new Constitution will also introduce the presidential system, which is much more democratic than the current system designed for the interests of military tutelage.
Thanks to that, our country is to take a great step in terms of democratization, while the administration will be rendered much more effective. Not only citizens living in Turkey, but also the 3.5 million citizens abroad, are waiting for the referendum with great excitement. Of course, what can be more natural than the participation of the European Union-based Turkish electorate in the referendum? However, in some EU countries, particularly in Germany, there are endeavors in process aiming to hamper the referendum.
In Germany, which is the last country resisting giving dual citizenship to people who have lived in Germany for decades or were born there, some politicians have made surprising remarks favoring banning the campaigns that endorse "yes" votes in Turkey's referendum. The double standards Germany adopts in this context are distressing.
Germany's Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas is unjustly intervening in the referendum process. The minister is against the"yes" campaigns being conducted by Turkish politicians in Germany. However, he does not display the same intolerance to the "no"campaigns, which is curious. He is the former leader of the SPD group in the Saarland regional parliament. The minister also condones "no" campaigns particularly made in Saarland by outlawed PKK proponents, deputies from the PKK-linked Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
While other politicians besides the federal minister of justice are engaging in efforts to hinder the "yes" campaigns in Germany, the calls for "no" votes do not bother anyone. Some informative meetings to endorse "yes" votes in Germany are being banned, which is an impediment to people's democratic rights.
This is unequivocally an anti-democratic intervention in the upcoming referendum. Last week Prime Minister Binali Yılıdırım was in the city of Oberhausen after joining the Munich Security Conference to ask support for the presidential system. Also, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met Turkish people in Cologne to inform them about the referendum. These meetings disturbed some circles to such an extent that they resorted to every means possible to hamper the events, but they eventually failed. However, even their endeavors to prevent the meetings are scandalous to the name of democracy.
Besides, when Greece, Spain or Italy are going to an election, the SPD organizes a series of events in which the representatives of social democrat parties of the relevant countries inform their citizens living in Germany regarding the elections. While such meetings do not disturb anyone, Turkey's activities to inform its electorate have caused a great stir, which is a disgrace to democracy.
However, the ones hampering the meetings to sabotage the "yes" campaigns are contributing to these very campaigns. I think the ones endorsing the "yes" campaign must thank German Federal Minister of Justice Maas and some federal parliament members of Turkish origin since all their anti-democratic remarks and interventions encourage the Turkish electorate to vote "yes."
Such interventions made by social democrats, Greens or other left-wing politicians remind the Turkish people of the former referendums in Turkey that were organized under military tutelage. During these years, there used to always be groups trying to manipulate the Turkish electorate. The results of such endeavors are evident. Since 2002, the Turkish electorate has been voting for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
So, it will come as no surprise if the "yes" votes in Germany are more plentiful than expected.