A court in Turkey’s Şanlıurfa province has banned pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) billboards prepared to promote a “no” campaign for a referendum to be held on April 16. A photo of Figen Yüksekdağ, jailed co-chair of the HDP, was cited as the reason for the ban by the court.
Last week the Şırnak Governor’s Office announced that the HDP official referendum campaign song, “Bejin Na‘’ (Say No), has been banned in Şırnak for “inciting hatred and hostility among the people.”
The HDP’s campaign song was composed by Kurdish singer Şeyda Perinçek and widely used by Kurdish politicians while campaigning to persuade people to vote “no” in a critical referendum on April 16 that will introduce an executive presidency in the country if approved. Governor office in southeastern province of Muş has also banned HDP’s referendum song in Kurdish ‘Say No’ following the bans in Diyarbakır, Van, and Şırnak provinces.
Meanwhile, a giant banner belonging to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and calling for a “yes” vote in an upcoming referendum on a constitutional reform package was hung on the facade of the headquarters of the Felicity Party (SP) — which is against the reforms — in İstanbul’s Zeytinburnu district on Friday night.
The SP previously announced that it would say “no” to the constitutional changes that will be voted in the referendum on April 16 and seeks to introduce an executive presidency in the country. The banner was hung by a crane over the SP logo. When SP officials intervened, the crane operator had to take down the “yes” banner.
SP İstanbul branch head Birol Aydın, who was informed about the incident by party officials, came to the scene and protested the hanging of the “yes” banner on the SP building.
“This is a situation that needs to be condemned, and it runs against both political courtesy and moral values. Making an attempt to hang such a banner over the logo of our party proves something. It is a very important evidence of why a ‘yes’ vote cannot be cast in the referendum,” Aydın said.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), backed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), pushed through the legislation that Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says will bring the strong leadership needed to prevent a return of the fragile coalition governments of the past.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and HDP fear the reform will fuel authoritarianism. The reform will enable Erdoğan to appoint and dismiss government ministers, take back the leadership of the ruling party and govern until 2029. The plans foresee presidential and general elections in 2019, with a maximum of two five-year terms. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) April 2, 2017