Islamic State running ‘No’ campaign in Turkey referendum: Deputy PM

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli

Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said that the Islamic State (IS) group is secretly running a ‘No’ campaign amongst its supporters in Turkey for the upcoming referendum on constitutional reform.

“We are struggling against three terrorist organisations, all of these are proxies,” Canikli said. “We are receiving intelligence reports that ISIS is secretly running a ‘No’ campaing amongst its supporters in Turkey.”

Turkish President Erdogan has already accused naysayers of being on the same side as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and supporting Fethullah Gulen, the alleged mastermind of last year’s coup attempt in Turkey.

“Who is saying ‘no’? The PKK is saying ‘no’. Qandil is saying ‘no’,” Turkish President Erdogan said in February referring to the Qandil mountains, the PKK’s stronghold in the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq. “My people won’t be on the same side as those that seek to harm my country,” he added.

Deputy prime minister Canikli also claimed that the majority of those running ‘No’ campaigns were foreign proxies calling them ‘non-national’.

“The CHP [Republican People’s Party] and [CHP leader] Mr. Kilicdaroglu are running a persistent ‘No’ campaign. Is he also non-national? Yes, he too is non-national. Kilicdaroglu and the CHP are currently being run by the German deep state. This is well-known. They are in close contact,” Canikli continued.

Opposition party officials have accused the government of criminalising the public and the ‘No’ campaign in general, claiming that the government’s extreme polarisation of the country in order to pass its constitutional reform will be detrimental to the country in the long term.