26 May, Saturday

80 million Turks won in referendum, opposition MHP chair Bahçeli says


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Turkey's opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Tuesday voiced messages of unity in the wake of Sunday's historic referendum, saying that all Turkish citizens, regardless of how they campaigned, had won in the end.

The April 16 referendum "was the democratic victory of 80 million Turkish people," Devlet Bahçeli told his party's group meeting in Ankara.

"The winners on April 16 were all of our people who said No or Yes by exercising their democratic choice."

The MHP -- one of four political parties in parliament -- joined the ruling AK Party in supporting the constitutional changes, which unofficially won in the referendum with over 51 percent of the vote.

"The soul of unity and solidarity has come to the forefront. Our brotherhood has been clinched, our independence has strengthened. Our republic has grown stronger," Bahçeli said.

"From now on, debates over the system are over."

The MHP leader also listed a number of losers in the referendum: the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), terrorist organization PKK, the PKK's Syrian terror group affiliate the PYD, its armed branch the YPG, and the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which opposed the changes.

The FETO terrorist group and its U.S.-based leader, Fetullah Gulen, are blamed for last July's defeated coup that martyred 249 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.

Since the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU -- resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, more than 1,200 people, including security personnel and civilians, have lost their lives.

Turkish voters went to the polls on Sunday to decide whether to approve changes to the country's constitution that would usher in an executive presidency.

According to unofficial results, the Yes campaign won with 51.41 percent, while the No votes stood at 48.59 percent. Voter turnout was 85.46 percent.


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