HDP: ‘No’ Votes Will Increase if Tension And Clashes Are Avoided

Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Deputy Group Chair İdris Baluken has said “No” votes will increase in the upcoming constitutional referendum on whether to shift Turkey to an executive presidential system.

“I believe the strength of the ‘no’ front will increase if tension and clashes are avoided,” Baluken told daily Birgün, noting that tension “rallies the base” of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“Tension should be avoided. Tension brings about nothing but rallying the targeted audience of the AKP. The AKP is building its referendum campaign on creating lines of tension by making the HDP and other ‘no’ voters into targets, rather than telling the people about the contents of the amendments and what solution they will bring. Therefor I think that those carrying out the ‘no’ campaign should stay away from areas of tension and instead focus on explaining to the people what the constitutional amendment package brings and what it doesn’t bring,” he added.

Stating that the 18-article package does not provide any solutions to Turkey’s most important issues, Baluken said it simply amounted to “regime change.”

“A campaign explaining this to the AKP base consistently and decisively should be carried out,” he added.

Baluken was released on Jan. 30 after being arrested over terror charges on Nov. 4, 2016 along with HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. A total of 11 HDP lawmakers, including Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ, are currently under arrest.

“We’ve never had a discourse that would lead to an increase in clashes, tension and war. We’ve never found such an approach appropriate politically and we have always been clearly against it,” Baluken told Birgün.

Turkey will hold a referendum in on April 16 to decide whether to change the government system into an presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the president or to protect the current parliamentary

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