“The secret pro-No charge is enough for someone who might have said ‘Yes’ to use a ‘No’ vote.”Fehmi Koru, a journalist who is writing on his own blog and on a site he set up named Ocakmedya after his departure from Habertürk daily, reacted to the accusations of “secret pro-No” in his articleIndependent internet newspaper T24 has compiled on 21st April almost all about the names of pro-Yes and “secret pro-No” sides and their arguments in the 16th April referendum for constitutional amendments.
“Time for the AKP members who are involved in FETO up to their throats, loose and anxious to account for.”
Allegation that “there are secret pro-NO people in the AKP” advocated by pro-AKP media also put a firm stamp on the “Yes” and “No” campaigns in the process leading to the referendum which ended with the announcement that the “presidential government system” that ended the parliamentary system in Turkey was accepted with 51.4% “Yes” vote versus 48.6% “No” vote. In the discussion of “secret pro-NO people in the AKP”; the Karar daily, which was supposed to follow a publication policy close to the former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, and the columnists of Hürriyet daily Abdülkadir Selvi and Akif Beki, who were transferred from the conservative neighborhood, as well as from the 11th President Abdullah Gül to the writer Ahmet Taşgetiren (from Star daily) a series of names came to the agenda.
“Who is Erdoğanist, who is not” debate in the neighborhood
The writer from Star daily Hüseyin Gülerce, who spent a significant part of his life near Fethullah Gülen and his community, claimed in one of his article on February 16, 2017, “the insidious pro-NO people are conducting a perception operation.” Gülerce, making references to the article of Abdulkadir Selvi, the columnist of Hürriyet Daily, entitled “The wind of Yes has reversed,” wrote, “They are constantly confusing about ‘Yes,’ and a pen who grabbed a role in perception management is shaking sword unexpectedly.”
The first person to use the definition of “secret pro-No” was the Star columnist Ahmet Kekeç. Kekeç argued in his article entitled “The secret pro-No of the neighborhood, what’s your problem, brother?”, published on 20 February 2017 that some writers close to the AKP have adopted the CHP Istanbul deputy Akif Hamzaçebi’s criticism of the “presidential system”. Kekeç continued to say:
“The party that this man (Hamzaçebi) belongs to is only carrying out a campaign of just “lies, ” and he is finding stakeholders in ‘our neighborhood.’ The residents of the community have not wait for long before jumping on the words of Hamzaçebi. Immediately ‘sharing channels’ were activated. An intensive quoting activity has just begun.”
“A serious step must be taken against disgrace teams.”
The writer of Karar daily, and former AKP deputy Mehmet Ocaktan, however, criticized the “Yes” campaign in his article published on the same day. “Unfortunately, the biggest misfortune of the AK Party is ‘disgrace teams’ which are deployed around the party” voiced his opinion and said:
“Because they decide who is a traitor, who is a patriot; who is indigenous, and who is not. They do not hesitate to label their close friends and even their fellows in different ideas as treacherous. A few days before the referendum, if the AK Party can not take a serious step against these disgrace teams that have no bond of love to the party, I’m afraid, both AK Party and Turkey suffer from this negative perception.”Mehmet Ocaktan’s these words caused him to be shown among columnists accused of “secret pro-NO” later.
“Pro-Yes people are in on the hunt for hidden pro-No”
The former Prime Minister’s advisor and Hürriyet columnist Akif Beki, who stated in his article published on 19th February 2017 that he regretted using the “yes” vote in the September 12, 2010, referendum, was accused of being a “secret pro-No” by some circles.
Beki, who reacted to this claim on 22 February 2017, used the expression, “Fast pro-Yes people are in on the hunt for secret pro-No people to show how fast they are.” Beki continued his words: “There is roll call fugitive pro-No, but when you look for a roll call fugitive pro-Yes, you can not find it. A fan who does not show up in the cheer knows that he will be treated as treacherous.”
“They seem to be in the Yes front, but they are watering No’s mill.”
The writer of Turkey daily Fuat Uğur, stating in his article published on February 23, 2017 that the section they called “secret pro-No people” does not consist only of journalists and writers, voiced his opinion, “In the provinces of Anatolia, especially in areas the AK Party is strong, the pro-Akşener people are wandering the coffeehouses one by one and telling the constitutional draft falsely. However, in particular, the provinces in which Hodja’s (former PM Ahmet Davutoğlu) team is influential, are in full winter sleep.”
“They are sneakingly supporting the No front.”
The columnist from Sabah daily Fahrettin Altun in his article dated February 25, 2017, suggested that those who are constantly keeping the question “what will happen after Tayyip Erdoğan” on the agenda are “secretly disdaining the presidential system and supporting sneakingly the No front by showing up themselves as if they are right.”
“Being a secret pro-No person is being a pro-FETO person.”
Star daily’s writer Lütfü Oflaz, after Gülerce and Kekeç, defended that “there are some individuals in the conservative neighborhood who are secret pro-No people for the constitutional amendment referendum to be voted on 16 April.”
Oflaz, who uses the phrase in his article published on March 2, 2017 “FETO members are examples of secret cover-ups, sneaking, …” , wrote: “In my sight, the secret pro-No people are similar to the FETO members. To me, being a secret pro-No means being an FETO member.” on March 3, 2017 and said: “The problem is not with the party members, but with the partisans. They (the partisans) are providing mortar to the No front by their Yes campaign they are conducting inexorably directed towards people who might say No.”
“I think this is an enough reason to push people who in fact might say ‘Yes’ to use ‘No’ vote,” Koru said. And he announced that he does not look positively to the system change by saying “I have nothing to hide.” Koru then took its place among those accused of “secret pro-No.”
“The AK Party members should not fall into the traps of those who show themselves as if they are right.”
AKP Ankara deputy and Star daily’s writer Yalçın Akdoğan said in his article published on March 29, 2017, without using the definition of “secret pro-No people”: “Those who are worried about what will happen after Erdoğan are in fact worried about 2030 Turkey. It’s too clear that those, seemingly right people, who are asking this question are not considering Erdoğan or the system’s functioning. Their aim is to confuse the AK Party electors.”
“Mud, you be a man first.”
Star daily’s columnist Ahmet Taşgetiren’s reaction on 29 March 2017, to Haşmet Babaoğlu, from Sabah daily, who blamed, without mentioning his name, himself for being a “secret pro-No” was like that: “You, get out of being a mud first, be a man. I will not address you with your words.” Babaoğlu had said in his article published on March 28, 2017, “I say ‘I am giving up’ as I look at the ashamed pro-No people who, from their columns, no shamelessly are bringing ‘stone’ from a thousand rivers in order to frighten their own nation with crisis, coup d’état and war.
“Come out bravely and say ‘No’”
Star’s writer Ahmet Kekeç criticized in his article published on April 5, 2017, without mentioning his name, Etyen Mahçupyan, who carried out the counseling of former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu for a while. Kekeç, who implied that Mahçupyan is one of the “secret pro-No people,” said, “Come out boldly and say ‘No,’ you will be more respectable.”
“Abdullah Gül is a secret pro-No.”
Ali Bayramoğlu, who wrote for Yeni Şafak daily until recently, said that he will use ‘No’ vote in the referendum in an explanation he made for İrfan Aktan from Gazeteduvar on April 7, 2017. Bayramoğlu, saying “I think he (the 11th President Abdullah Gül) is a secret pro-No”, continued: “Erdoğan was not a democrat. We saw this from the first day. But it was not anyhow something to be undervalued but if a man who is not a democrat is taking the Islamic groups on his back and saying ‘I will join the European Union and implement the Copenhagen Criteria.”
“I will vote ‘No.’”
Etyen Mahçupyan, whom Ahmet Kekeç had made a call to “Come out bravely and say ‘No,’” announced on April 13, 2017, that he would use “No” vote in the referendum. Mahçupyan, saying that he has voted for AKP in all previous elections, expressed that the constitutional amendment proposal for the party presidential system has brought a single man system that is open to abuse.
“You do not have a chance to save yourself by saying ‘knife-edge’ …”
Abdulkadir Selvi, one of the names alleged to be “secret pro-No” because of his article entitled “The wind of Yes has reversed” made fun on April 12, 2017, of his column neighbor Ahmet Hakan’s expression “Both Yes votes and No votes are on the knife-edge.” Selvi recalled that in the ANAR’s poll the “Yes” votes were ahead and said “After this outcome the chance to save himself by saying ‘knife-edge’ to those who ask ‘Will Yes or No win?’ disappeared.
“Time for the AKP members who are involved in FETO up to their throats, loose and anxious to account for.”
Yeni Şafak daily’s columnist Salih Tuna used the following statements in his article dated April 19, 2017, he wrote after the “presidential government system” was approved with a 51.4% “Yes” vote:
“It is now time to account for he mayors, general secretaries who overlook to the public, are arrogant, and who forget about the principle ‘Service to Mankind is Service to God’ and fill their pockets, and crypto’s working insidiously for the ‘No’ by showing themselves as if they are right, the loose and anxious AKP members who are involved in FETO up to their throats, party organizations and those in clover who indulge themselves doing no work like spendthrifts, and weathercocks and all ‘Asuman’s”
“Those who said ‘There is sedition’ whenever someone complains in the Davutoğlu period.”
Sabah daily’s columnist Hilal Kaplan, defending that some of the columnists that suppressed whoever complains about anything by saying ‘There is sedition’ in the period when Davutoğlu was PM say today that “the smallest criticism is being silenced” said, “Let’s be clear: ‘Your least criticism’ has not been silenced, but your secret being ‘pro-No’ was revealed. If the result were ‘No,’ your articles titled ‘Erdogan did it to himself’ were ready. When the referendum ended with the victory of ‘Yes,’ you have begun to chew the gum of ‘Then, let’s embrace’ hoping to jump the queue.”
“They will be weeded out one by one.”
Aydın Ünal, Yeni Şafak daily’s columnist and AKP Ankara deputy, who formerly classed the journalists Cemil Barlas and Fuat Uğur with “insects” said in his article published on April 20, 2017, “Do not worry, you will see, if they have infiltrated among us, if there are arrogance monuments, parasites, insects, lovers of interests, legionaries, renegades, idles, Fetullah-ists, if there are, they will be weeded out one by one.”
“Tell your men close to Erdogan …”
The Yeni Akit daily’s columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak, recalling that “the presidential government system was accepted by 51.4% ‘Yes’ vote, said in his article published on April 18, 2017, “I don’t know if secret pro-No people, hypocrite and insidious AKP people among us are happy. Those whom you suppose are your friends sell you, too tomorrow.” Dilipak continued his words as follows:
“Tell your men close to Erdoğan that their dirty linen is soon washed in public, too. I feel like I can see the faces of those when they turn their backs who flash smiles in the Complex (the Presidential Palace)”
“The marginals who put their backs to the party in power should repent, instead of seeking a scapegoat.”
Habertürk daily’s columnist Nihal Bengisu Karaca, who accused by journalist Cem Küçük of being a “secret pro-No,” said in her article dated April 20, 2017:
“Some supporters of the ‘Yes’ front have pursued to take revenge on the ratio of ‘Yes’ vote which came less than they expected from the AK Party politicians, from those close to the AK Party, and who have supported President Erdoğan many times, even those who have been from those who first craned their necks in front of the guillotine for the last 3 years. They would rather query the muds they produced at the expense of harming to the President Erdoğan and repent, instead of creating scapegoats by making excuses and exporting their own problems to others.”
“Maniac types in the Blue Marmara …”
Journalist Cem Küçük saw a great reaction when he said that “after the President Tayyip Erdoğan returns to lead the AKP he should part ways with radical Islamists and the maniacs of the Blue Marmara.”
Blue Marmara passenger Ümit Sönmez, on Twitter, for the words of Cem Küçük, asked: “I was in the Blue Marmara. I was on the street on July 15. I said ‘Yes’ in the referendum, I am with Erdoğan until the end. Who are you?” Küçük replied, “Pay attention to your wording, I stay in a courteous manner. Do not comment without understanding the beginning and the end.”
Cem Küçük: I apologize
Cem Küçük, later on, said that “he apologized to the people of Blue Marmara,” arguing that he was misunderstood. Küçük, while saying that he consistently criticized Israel, used the expressions “It is bad faith to think that I would say maniacs for the martyrs of the Blue Marmara.”