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Not every naysayer is a terrorist, deputy PM says

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Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmuş has said not every person who is going to vote against a constitutional reform package which among other things brings an executive presidency to Turkey and will be put to a referendum on April 16 is a terrorist.

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Kurtulmuş said words by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım linking naysayers to terrorist organizations should not be misunderstood.

Kurtulmuş said saying terror organizations support a “no” vote in the referendum and declaring citizens who vote “no” to be terrorists are different things.

“Neither our president nor prime minister has said anything like this [describing naysayers as terrorists]. They just voiced the attitude of the organizations which are enemy of the state,” Kurtulmuş said.

In a controversial statement on Sunday, Erdoğan said those who will vote against the constitutional reforms in the referendum are actually taking sides with the coup plotters who perpetrated a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Speaking at a news conference before departing for Bahrain for an official visit, Erdoğan said: “April 16 will at the same time be an answer for July 15. It will be an important move against July 15. The position of naysayers is taking sides with July 15. Nobody should derive a different meaning from this.”

In a previous statement, Erdoğan as well as Prime Minister Yıldırım accused the potential naysayers in the referendum of taking sides with terrorist organizations.

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