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Turkish Opposition Politician faces increasing pressure, power cuts ahead of referendum

Tension in first meeting organized by Meral Akşener

Tension arose during the first meeting of the “NO for Referendum “tour in Canakkale organized by MHP Nationalist Movement Party opposition leader, Meral Aksener. Ms. Aksener’s team agreed to speak at the Kolin Hotel to launch her ‘NO’ campaign against the referendum. According to the reports, the hotel management retreated from their agreement due to pressure received from the government. When Aksener arrived at the hotel, the hotel power was cut. The meeting was held in darkness while Pro-Aksener supporters tried to bring the power back on while riot police searched all attendees in front of the hotel. Meral Aksener made a statement from her social media account stating that “Our meeting which had obtained permissions legally, is being hindered by blacking out the hotel. They won’t be able to hinder our fight for democracy.”

56% NO vote for Referendum

Since the electricity could not be supplied to the meeting room, Meral Aksener spoke using a megaphone. Aksener who was seen with shapes of the moon and star representing the Turkish flag on her hands, (as seen in the picture above) emphasized that she is a politician who does not lie. She continued by saying “I am saying this with the numbers. The result will be 56% for NO and 37% for YES.  That is why you cannot put pressure on the Trakya (Trace) region. If the Prime Minister can accuse ‘NO’ supporters as being ‘Terrorists’, then this is a scandal. Such a statement does not fit a prime minister. Therefore, going to the ballot box is an obvious outcome. We will also say NO to this! That’s why we are starting our fight in Canakkale today. Why did Canakkale succeed? Because they said ‘Stop, you cannot pass here!’ Here in Çanakkale, we will also say Stop! You will not get this Constitution to pass. Our people will say NO!”

Aksener also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement on the current system being like his foot had been bound by leg irons. Aksener responded by saying that “He [Erdoğan] has been leading the country for the last 15 years. Ok, we can accept that the political system in the country was double-headed between 2002 and 2007 as there was President Sezer, but then Abdullah Gul became president. After he [Erdoğan] had become president, he appointed anyone he preferred as prime minister. He appointed one, did not like them and switched with another one. At this point, I want to put forward this question: Mr. President what are these leg irons you have, who they are and what is their source?”


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