CHP to keep backing anti-terror fight: Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu

Published 05.04.2017 00:59

The leader of the main opposition CHP called for a national stance against terrorism and added that his party will continue to support the current government's efforts to eliminate all threats by terrorist groups directed at the country's security

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday his party would continue to support the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in fighting terrorism.

"We need to show a national stance against terrorism. We are fed up with terrorism," Kılıçdaroğlu said during a visit to tradesmen in Ankara. "We'll save this country from terrorism together."

Kılıçdaroğlu's statement comes after three Turkish soldiers were killed and five others were injured earlier Tuesday during an operation against PKK terrorists in the southeastern Sirnak province.

Saying that Turkey needs peaceful political rhetoric to overcome the ongoing challenges in the country, he stated that using the right language was a must for the ruling governments.

Kılıçdaroğlu also rejected statements that those who are not in favor of the upcoming referendum are terrorists.

"This is not a fight but a referendum. We'll talk, discuss, come together and then make our decisions on April 16," he said. "Each of my friends, every politician should watch his tongue."

During an Istanbul rally in February, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım had called on the Turkish nation to say "yes" in the referendum as every terrorist group was in favor of the "no" vote.

"Why do we say ‘yes'? We say ‘yes' because the PKK says ‘no.' We say ‘yes' because FETÖ [the Gülenist Terror Group] says ‘no.' We say ‘yes' because the HDP [Peoples' Democratic Party] says ‘no.' Look at the ‘no' voters and decide," he said.

A firm opponent of the proposed referendum and the amendments, Kılıçdaroğlu said that they were not calling on anyone to vote in a particular way, and reiterated that they would respect "yes" and "no" voters alike.

However, he claimed that changing the constitution would direct the 80 million people living in Turkey in an "indefinable direction." He added that a president should be objective as he represented the whole nation and not only a particular segment of society.

The constitutional changes have been discussed since Erdoğan was voted president in August 2014.

The 18-article bill was passed by Parliament in January, with 339 votes in favor - nine more than needed to put the proposal to a referendum. The reforms would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president and the post of prime minister would be abolished.

The president would also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.

Other changes would see the minimum age for parliamentary candidates reduced to 18 and the number of deputies rise to 600. Simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new constitution.

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