Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said late Thursday that he and his party will vote yes in the constitutional referendum "for the sake of Turkey." Commenting on the recent development via his official Twitter account, Bahçeli said he will support the constitutional changes in the referendum for the Turkish nation, state and above all Turkey. "The MHP will say 'yes' for the existence of the nation to be extended into the future with freedom," Bahçeli said.
Rebuffing rumors that the MHP is divided on the issue of the constitutional referendum, Bahçeli said that different circles are trying to smear his party. "Our direction is right, our politics are right," he added.
The nationalist chairman stressed that political cracks are deepening. Bahçeli contended that those who say "yes" and those who say "no" in the referendum are being polarized.
Bahçeli gave his support to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in its bid to change the constitution. Bahçeli said in early December that both parties put in extensive effort during negotiation talks on the draft constitution and that a positive result had been achieved after meeting with the prime minister.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and MHP Chairman Bahçeli held a press conference at the Çankaya Prime Ministerial Office in Ankara early December to announce that the AK Party and the MHP would jointly bring the constitutional proposals to Parliament.
After the amendment was approved in the constitutional committee in Parliament, parties voted on it in the General Assembly. In two rounds of voting, all 18 articles were approved with over 330 votes, leading to a referendum. Turkey is set to hold a referendum in early April if President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirms the referendum decision.
"MHP lawmakers have paved the way for Turkey's future by voting in favor of the constitutional amendment package, despite all the destructive propaganda and attacks," Bahçeli said, following the vote in Parliament. The MHP chairman has come under fire from different circles due to his support to the constitutional changes. In addition, new rumors surfaced in media outlets that Bahçeli's own party was turning against him on the issue.