80 million Turks won in referendum, opposition MHP chair Bahçeli says

Published 18.04.2017 13:03
Updated 18.04.2017 17:02
80 million Turks won in referendum, opposition MHP chair Bahçeli says

Turkey's opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said that the April 16 referendum was a democratic victory for 80 million Turkish people and regardless of how they campaigned the whole nation is the winner of the referendum.

Speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, MHP Chairman Bahçeli said that the constitutional amendment package accepted at Sunday's referendum by 51.4 percent of the public and this result should not be underestimated. "The referendum result indicates a clear victory and this result should not be underestimated. From now on, debates over the system are over." Bahçeli said. "The April 16 referendum was the democratic victory of 80 million Turkish people. The winners on April 16 were all of our people who said 'no' or 'yes' by exercising their democratic choice," he said. "The soul of unity and solidarity has come to the forefront. Our brotherhood has been clinched, our independence has strengthened. Our republic has grown stronger," he added.

The MHP leader also listed a number of losers in the referendum: the Gülenist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the PKK terrorist organization, the PKK's Syrian terror group affiliate the Democratic Union Party (PYD), its armed branch the People's Protection Units (YPG), and the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which opposed the changes.

Bahçeli also hinted that his party is ready to support the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to enact adjustment laws that are necessary to switch to a presidential system. "We will stick to our principles and will continue political consensus [with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party)] for the sake of our country," Bahçeli said while underlining that their responsibility in the new era will be heavier. "Today is the day that we need to be united for our brighter future. We can defeat attacks to our nation and can be successful if we are united," Bahçeli added.

"The April 16 referendum also gave different messages to all political parties. We interpreted this meaningful message thus we declare that we will act accordingly. Therefore we believe any efforts that avoid reconciliation and not embrace the Turkish nation is not for the sake of our country. Let's be united, be strong and spoil plots against our country. Yes for the state, yes to the nation, yes to the Republic," Bahçeli concluded.

MHP leader Bahçeli also rejected claims that his party lost votes at the referendum and slammed people who argue that only a small percentage of MHP voters voted in favor of the constitutional amendment package. "Those who have been looking for a conspiracy, a trick or a trap against us, were disappointed on April 16. The MHP took responsibility and said 'yes.' It made an intervention for its state, defended its 'yes' decision and stood behind it," Bahçeli said.

The MHP - one of four political parties in Parliament - joined the ruling AK Party in supporting the constitutional changes, which unofficially won in the referendum with over 51 percent of the vote.

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