Turkish President Erdogan: The system is a shackle on us

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking in Aksaray, Turkey

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed crowds today gathered at an opening ceremony for a new natural gas storage facility in the Central Anatolian city of Aksaray.

On stage Erdogan asked the crowd, “you know this system, it has always been a shackle around our ankles. Are we ready to break these shackles on the 16th of November [expected date for referendum on constitutional reform]?”

“Turkey has arrived at an important juncture in its quest to change its system. On the 15th of July [referring to last year’s coup attempt] did my people stand against the F-16s. Did my people stand against the tanks and helicopters? Now the 16th of April is coming, and a yes vote in the referendum is a continuation of the stance we showed on the 15th of July,” Erdogan said, equating a yes vote to resisting against the Putschists.

Critics have been quick to denounce Erdogan’s statements as laughable, with opposition politicians stating that Erdogan has personally been running the system he deems “shackling” for the past 15 years.