President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that voting “no” in a referendum that would introduce an executive presidency in Turkey would mean consenting to evil, while speaking with journalists on the way back from a trip to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
As Turkey moves towards a critical referendum on April 16, President Erdoğan continues to campaign for a “yes” vote, which will grant him unprecedented powers as president. “We are not pressuring ‘naysayers,’ but there is no good in saying no,” Erdoğan told pro-government journalists who accompanied him on his trip to the Gulf.
“Consenting to evil is evil,” Erdoğan said in reference to potential naysayers in the referendum to vote in a system change in Turkey.
Erdoğan also added that once the referendum ends in a victory of votes in favor, he would become a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Yesterday, Erdoğan claimed that he does not want the change in system of governance for himself.
“I am not so lacking in character as to ask for this system for myself,” Erdoğan said during an opening ceremony for a facility in the heartland Anatolia province of Kahramanmaraş.
However, right after claiming that the transition to an executive presidency, which will vest the president with unprecedented powers, was not part of his personal ambitions, Erdoğan added that he has been planning for such a system since his term as mayor of İstanbul in the 1990s.
“The executive presidency has been a project of mine,” Erdoğan told the people, adding that he would wage a campaign for a “yes” vote in the referendum with the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Earlier, Erdoğan had said that the naysayers are taking sides with the plotters of an abortive coup on July 15, 2016.
Critics say Erdoğan will officially be a one-man regime with unchecked powers if the change in system is realized in Turkey.