Turkey referendum: Opposition lawmakers say ‘no’ vote at 58%

With less than a fortnight left to Turkey’s constitutional referendum and pollsters refraining from disclosing survey figures, two of Turkey’s prominent opposition lawmakers have claimed the ‘no’ vote is between 57 and 58%.

Speaking at a public meeting in capital Ankara on Sunday, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy, Sirri Sureyya Onder, referring to the AKP’s inability to get a majority in the 2015 general election, told the crowd that there was a “7 June feeling in the air.”

“Their [yes] vote is the same as the vote they got on 7 June. Not a point above 43%. You will see on 16 April that they will not have the face to come out in public.”

Onder also stated that the Kurdish vote would make the difference in the referendum as it had on 7 June and that the government was afraid of this.

Speaking in southeastern Kurdish city Hakkari on Sunday, main opposition Republican People’s (CHP) Party lawmaker, Eren Erdem, also claimed that the ‘no’ vote was considerably higher and at 58%.

Erdem also accused the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party of using mosques as political centres: “This [AKP] mentality has damaged our belief system and values like no other in history.”

Erdem also claimed that the ‘no’ vote in Hakkari, where clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish PKK fighters have intensified recently, was at 90%.

Of the four parties in parliament, two are in the ‘yes’ camp while two are opposing the 18-article amendment that will introduce what supporters are calling a “Turkish-style presidency.”

While supporters have said the reform will bring stability and strengthen Turkey, critics have asserted it will herald in a “one-man rule” headed by President Erdogan. The president will be afforded executive powers including the right to appoint and fire ministers, appoint judicial officials and dissolve parliament.

Government officials and Nationalist Movement (MHP) Party leaders in favour of the reform have preferred not to project the outcome of the referendum saying instead that the ‘yes’ vote is ahead.