A deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Hüseyin Kocabıyık, has expressed gratitude to Germany and the Netherlands for not allowing Turkish ministers to hold campaign rallies there, saying that tension with these countries has added at least two points to the “yes” vote ahead of a critical referendum on April 16.
“They made at least a two-point contribution to our ‘yes’ votes. You can be sure about it. As a retired political advisor and researcher, I can say with certainty that these events will lead to a significant increase in the [yes] votes of our citizens in Europe and will also seriously influence both the undecided and naysayers Turkey,” said Kocabıyık, talking about the tension with Germany and the Netherlands after they banned Turkish ministers from holding campaign rallies with Turks in their cities, during a program on the pro-government AHaber TV on Sunday evening.
Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was expelled from the Netherlands on Saturday night after she was prevented by police from entering the Turkish consulate residence in Rotterdam to deliver a campaign rally speech.
The Netherlands earlier on Saturday had canceled the flight clearance for Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s aircraft to land in the country, also to attend a rally.
Turkey will hold a critical referendum on April 16 on constitutional amendments that would create an executive presidential system in Turkey, handing President Tayyip Erdoğan even greater powers.
The legislation enables the president to issue decrees, declare emergency rule, appoint ministers and top state officials and dissolve Parliament.
Opposition parties claim the proposals would remove the counter-balances to the already considerable influence Erdoğan exerts over the government.