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Turkish PM repeats claim that terror groups support ‘no’ campaign

Turkish PM repeats claim that terror groups support ‘no’ campaign
Terror groups are together orchestrating a “No” campaign for the upcoming referendum on constitutional changes in Turkey, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has repeated, following earlier controversial claims linking the “No” campaign to terrorism.

“If all terror organizations are carrying out ‘No’ campaigning like a chorus, then that should have meaning for our country, our people and our citizens. My citizens will not be on the same side as terrorists. I wholeheartedly believe this,” Yıldırım said in his address to his parliamentary group on Feb 14.

He claimed that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had allied against the constitutional amendments.

He also referred to the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) but did not include the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on the list of terror groups.

“I don’t think we have any citizen that would follow the terrorists’ road. Terror organizations are the enemy of our country, our people, our flag and our soil. We have always found our people with us in our fight against terror,” Yıldırım said.

PM points at decree commission for academic purge

Referring to the recent crackdown of hundreds of academics through a governmental decree, Prime Minister Yıldırım said a commission would re-evaluate the dismissals of academics with the decree laws “in order to find a judicial remedy for any injustices, if there are any.”

“We have formed a re-evaluation mechanism regarding the latest decree. This committee will consist of seven members, who will examine all the objections and then make a decision. If the committee thinks the objections are justified then the decisions will be opened to judicial remedies,” Yıldırım added.

His comments came after 330 academics were dismissed from their posts with a state of emergency decree law issued on Feb. 9, prompting demonstrations denouncing the decision in universities and police interventions.

“If dismissed [academics] think there is an injustice, there must be a provision in the state of law. Justice is an absolute must,” Yıldırım said, according to HDN, noting that some of the academics removed from their posts in previous decrees had been sent back to their positions with the latest decrees.

“Some officers who were found justified in their objections were returned to their positions after other decrees,” he said.

A new commission was established to receive appeals against sweeping state of emergency operations with a decree law issued on Jan. 22. The foundation of the commission was interpreted as a move to assuage concerns of the Council of Europe, ahead of a critical debate on Turkey at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which had criticized the decree laws for being closed to domestic judicial remedies.

Campaign will start on Feb 25

Yıldırım also stated that the AKP’s referendum campaign for the constitutional amendment would officially be launched on Feb. 25 with a meeting at Ankara Arena.

“Undoubtedly, we will leave our political outlook at home. We will act only through our national emotions,” he said.

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