Voices inside and outside Turkey we all observe the same thing: The referendum campaign in Turkey was not made under equal democratic terms; Tayyip Erdogan used almost every sources of state to gain his islamist “totalitaire” dictatorship during last two months.
‘Evet’ or ‘Hayir’? That’s the Question in Polarised Turkey regarding the Constitutional Referendum taking place the 16th of April.
Wandering around Istanbul and the photos we see from pro and anti Erdogan media, it’s clear that the resources of the campaign backing an expansion of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers in the April 16 referendum vastly exceed those of his opponents.
The constitutional referendum will take place on 16 April. It will be conducted under a state of emergency following an attempted military coup on 15 July 2016 that resulted in a number of arrests, detentions, and dismissals. Several OSCE/ODIHR NAM interlocutors raised concerns about holding a referendum during a state of emergency, while those from the state institutions, including the election administration, noted that the restrictions arising from the emergency decrees will not affect the referendum campaign. The referendum package contains 18 amendments to the Constitution. The amendments include the introduction of an executive presidency to replace the existing parliamentary system of government; the abolition of the prime-ministerial office; and most of the oversight responsibilities of the parliament; a number of judiciary reforms, and; an increase in the number of seats in parliament.
Turks will vote “Yes” or “No” ,essentially, on whether to shift governmental powers from the parliament to the president’s office, currently held by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Recent polls (that a lot of sources and media are questioning their validity) show results are too close to predict, with about 10 percent of voters remaining undecided.
“For the nation and for the flag: ‘Yes’ (‘Evet’ in Turkish) with all our hearts,” one poster reads. “‘Yes’ for our tomorrows” says another, advertising a mass meeting by Erdogan earlier this month. “A country with a strong leadership guarantees stability”, journalist Nagehan Alçı stresses, making a case for the presidential system in Milliyet.
Advertising for the “No” campaign (“Hayir” in Turkish) is less widespread but still conspicuous, showing a simple picture of a young girl and the slogan “For our Future”.According to Penguen, the airtime for live broadcasts for the “Yes” campaign on television outstrips 10-fold that of the “No” campaign.