Following the Central Executive Committee (MYK) meeting on Wednesday afternoon, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has finalized its road map and strategy toward the constitutional amendment referendum set for April 16. Accordingly, the Turkish Supreme Election Board (YSK) also announced that the political parties are officially permitted to conduct their referendum campaigns starting yesterday and continuing until 6 p.m. on April 15.
The four-hour long MYK meeting addressed the referendum campaign under the chairmanship of AK Party's Deputy Chairman responsible for Publicity and Media Cevdet Yılmaz. The AK Party's executive board addressed its strategy along with the new campaign songs, slogans, billboard advertisements and the latest public survey results. According to sources close to the AK Party, the party's strategy includes focusing on citizens between 18-20 years old, as the constitutional amendment lowers the age of candidacy from 25 to 18.As AK Party deputies are scheduled to make statements in the relevant provinces of Turkey throughout the referendum campaign, the party's strategy also includes creating songs in Arabic and Kurdish, according to the region, while including melodies of the northern and western provinces of Turkey as well. In that regard, AK Party's Deputy Chairman Yılmaz told Sabah daily that, "We would like our citizens to make their decisions by looking at the amendment package. Thus, we are focusing on providing accurate information." Yılmaz further noted that support for the constitutional amendment is rapidly growing throughout the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey.
He stressed that, "The state of emergency in Turkey will not have a negative effect as some claim. It is meant to provide security for the elections. The new [governing] system is also designed to provide momentum toward resolving the issues in the region." Furthermore, the AK Party will address the claims of regime change during the campaign, while emphasizing the "one nation, one flag, one state and one government" motto. While Turkey marked a historic moment in its democratization process with a referendum in 2007, allowing a president to be elected for the first time in Turkish history by popular vote instead of by parliamentary decision, the AK Party is going to urge the nation to finalize the "partial process" of that constitutional amendment. Along with making close contact with the public during the campaigning process, the AK Party is also to convene with NGOs as well as various businessmen.PM's special letter urges youth to say ‘Yes' in referendum
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım urged the country's 15 million young voters to say "Yes" in the upcoming referendum as he addressed a special handwritten letter to the Turkish youth at a Central Executive Committee (MYK) meeting on Wednesday. In his letter, addressed to almost 15 million young voters between the ages of 18 and 30, Yıldırım also expressed his sincere thanks for the courage they displayed to resist the bloody coup attempt on July 15, perpetrated by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). In light of the letter, Yıldırım hoped that Turkey's youth would be able to build the future of their country under any condition. "The constitutional amendment, adopted by Parliament will be put in front of the Turkish youth on April 16, to make Turkey stronger, fairer and more independent," the prime minister added.
Referring to the constitutional amendment that will lower the age of candidacy from 25 to 18, Prime Minister Yıldırım said his party listens to the voice of the Turkish youth and that lowering the age requirement to be a parliamentary candidate shows the confidence in Turkish youth.
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