Turkey’s Forestry Minister Veysel Eroğlu has said that Western countries want to complete the mission of the Crusades by destroying Turkey by means of terrorist organizations within the country that they are supporting.
Speaking with the pro-government Yeni Şafak daily on Monday, Eroğlu said the Western world has been trying to destroy Turkey, the Ottoman Empire at the time, since the Treaty of Karlowitz, signed in 1699, ended Ottoman control in much of Central Europe.
“Since the 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz, they [the West] has been planning ‘how to destroy Turkey.’ This nation was a legend in the Gallipoli Campaign [during World War I] and was reborn out of the ashes. Then they started a new game to destroy Turkey by blocking it from within. They formed the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] and gave them arms. However, our Kurdish citizens were loyal to their flag and religion, so the PKK couldn’t take root among them,” he said.
Eroğlu further said that the last organization founded by the West is the Gülen movement, a faith-based civil society organization inspired by the views of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15 of last year.
“They don’t want a powerful and developed Turkey. We are amending the constitution, switching the [parliamentary] system [to a presidential system of governance] for our future generations. The presidential system will allow [Turkey] to make quicker decisions and take bigger steps,” he said.
The Turkish Parliament completed the first round of voting on Sunday night on a constitutional amendment package that grants the president extensive powers.
The first round of voting on the 18-article amendment package was done on Sunday. The ruling AKP plans to hold the second round by Wednesday and will complete the entire process by Jan. 21.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said if the constitutional amendments are passed by Parliament, Turkey would hold a referendum in April.
“After Parliament makes its decision [about the proposed amendments], the best thing to do is to go to a referendum in the shortest time possible. Most probably, a referendum will be held in early April,” Kurtulmuş said during an interview on the A Haber news channel on Monday.