Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said that “Europe will be shaken” with “the system changes” in the upcoming referendum that will decide whether Turkey’s current parliamentary system should be shifted into an executive presidency, slamming European countries, mainly the Netherlands and Germany, over banning Turkish ministers to meet with Turks living there for referendum campaigns.
“You see what the Netherlands, Germany and other European countries are doing. The Netherlands was afraid of the April 16 referendum and sided against Turkey. The racist, anti-Turk and anti-Islam bloc, which was bothered by Turkish people making a system change with their will, have showed unprecedented intolerance,” Bahçeli said at a rally in the eastern province of Elazığ on March 18, adding that regime changes will start to occur in Europe
after the referendum.
“You should know that the system will change in Turkey on April 16, thrones will be shaken in Europe
and the first spark of regime changes will take place. That’s why the monarchical governments are at unease and in pain. The governments are surprised and unconscious. It’s near that Europe
will learn to respect human rights and freedoms, as well as democratize. It will inevitably be on the agenda after April 16,” he added.
Saying that the elections in the Netherlands, in which Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s right-wing VVD easily won, was a slap in the face of racists and the enemies of Turkey, Bahçeli noted “those who want to put obstacles on our path will lose on April 16.”
Turkey is set to hold a referendum to decide whether to change the government system into an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the president or to protect the current parliamentary system.
The “yes” vote is endorsed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are campaigning for a “no” vote.
Meanwhile, a meeting held by Meral Akşener, a dissident within the MHP and a supporter of the “No” vote, was attacked by a group of Bahçeli supporters. A group of nearly 30 people known as “Idealists” (Ülkücüler) who support the MHP, wanted to take down posters in front of the hall Akşener was scheduled to speak at in the northwestern province of Kocaeli on March 18.
Police intervened to disperse the group, however, a brawl erupted when attendees of the meeting got involved in the incident. Police dispersed the group, as Akşener called for calm.