Justice Minister rejects claims of oppression of ‘no’ voters

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said he is ready to resign from his post if someone is arrested due to saying "no" in the upcoming referendum. Emphasizing that there is a perception operation that claims people who say "no" to the upcoming referendum on the constitutional amendment package will be detained or arrested, Minister Bozdağ underlined, "If there is someone detained for saying 'no' to the constitutional change, I will leave my office today." Bozdağ, speaking during a live broadcast on Thursday, also said neighborhood pressure is being applied for those who say "yes" to the changes.

Highlighting that voting in a referendum is a democratic right, Bozdağ explained that no one from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) said that "no"-voters are terrorists. Bozdağ said that discourse surrounding the AK Party, claiming that the party is trying to create the perception that "no" voters are terrorists, is creating a misperception to increase the number of "no" votes.

Bozdağ also recalled the unpleasant reactions against Turkish sportsmen and artists who declared their support for "yes" via social media tools, saying, "There is an awful lot of neighborhood pressure on them."

Regarding the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) decision to not apply to the Constitutional Court to hinder the constitutional changes before the referendum day, Bozdağ pointed out that the CHP is not sincere in their decision and the Turkish people will decide what is right for the future of Turkey. In this regard, Bozdağ said a vote by a secret ballot for the constitutional change in Parliament was not violated.

"If the CHP appealed to the Constitutional Court to abolish the voting in Parliament, it would have been rejected by the Court because the voting was proceeded in accordance with the procedural and form requirements prescribed by the Constitution. For this reason, the CHP changed its mind to go to court and stated that it trusts the Turkish people. It is a positive development for the CHP but it is not sincere" he said.

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