The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has demanded the resignation of the party’s Manisa provincial deputy head, Ozan Erdem, following his remarks warning of a civil war if the government-supported constitutional amendments fail to receive approval in the upcoming referendum.
Speaking at a conference organized by the party’s Soma district youth branch on Feb. 13, Erdem suggested there would be a “civil war” in Turkey if voters reject the shift to an executive presidential on April 16.
“If we cannot pass 50 percent and fail in this referendum vote, prepare for a civil war. We should know that the cards will be shuffled both inside [Turkey] and abroad and the plan tables will be set up again,” he said.
The AKP’s organization head Mustafa Ataş, described Erdem’s remarks as “unacceptable” and said the party had demanded his resignation.
“I called our Manisa provincial head as soon as I learned about the incident and asked him to secure this deputy provincial head’s resignation as of tonight,” Ataş told daily Hürriyet.
“Such an opinion never complies with our philosophy and cannot have a place in our party’s authorized organs. I asked our provincial head to ensure that this person immediately makes a statement to the public on the issue, as such opinions are beyond the pale,” he added.
The AKP’s Manisa provincial head, Berk Mersinli, said Erdem’s remarks did not reflect the party’s views and described them as “unfortunate.”
Mersinli also vowed that the party would refrain from such discourse during the referendum campaign, which would witness “moderate propaganda.”
Erdem’s remarks also drew condemnation from the opposition ranks.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Tur Yıldız Biçer issued a written parliamentary question to be answered by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on the issue.
Meanwhile, Akhisar chief public prosecutor Mehmet Nadir Yağcı said in a written statement that an investigation had been launched into Erdem’s remarks to investigate whether they “contained expressions that constitute crime./IBNA
Source: Hurriyet Daily News