Turkish deputy PM criticizes US, Israel for calling citizens back

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 01.04.2016 00:52

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş criticized the latest calls from the US and Israel to their citizens to leave Turkey in a televised interview on Wednesday.Indicating that Turkey does its share in fighting terror, Kurtulmuş said this continues with great precision.

He said: "We are facing dozens of examples in which terrorist cells come together to conduct terrorist attacks even if they do not know each other or have never met each other, or in which different terrorist organizations with widely differing political stances are cooperating with each other to ease their jobs," adding this does not pertain to Turkey, but it is witnessed all around the world.

Stressing that terror aims to terrorize people and prevent the government's pledged reforms from being realized, Kurtulmuş said: "We will unite with all the patriotic components from any party and all ways of life against terror for the same purpose. We will fight with sincerity and bravery against terrorist organizations without saying ‘but.' "

Kurtulmuş said the recent terror attacks in Brussels show that Ankara's arguments about terror are accurate and crucial: "Turkey has already said that it is open to cooperate sincerely with everyone."

He emphasized that some organizations, which Ankara regards as terrorist organizations, are not seen that way by several countries and called them to respect Turkey's sensitivities on the issue.

"If you do not show this respect, namely you call the groups that fight against terror freedom fighters or something else, this is clearly political protection," he said.

Dirty bargain for new constitution out of questionHe also mentioned the latest developments concerning a new constitution, saying that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is open to dialogue and discussion with other parties on a new draft constitution.

"However, if we cannot do this cooperatively with other parties, then we will present our own draft constitution to Parliament. Hopefully we find 367 [votes in Parliament], and if not, we need 330 and will resort to the people [for a referendum]. We will never make a dirty or secret bargain with somebody because this will be the constitution of the people, not of the AK Party."

According to current regulations, a party needs a majority of 330 votes in Parliament of the total 550 to call for a national referendum to change the constitution. With 367 votes, it would be able vote for a change without a referendum.

There are 550 seats in Parliament. The AK Party has 317 seats, the Republican People's Party (CHP) has 133, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has 59, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has 40 seats and there is one independent.

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