Turkey: Opposition Calls for Boycott of Constitution Referendum

Before the referendum; in 48 hours more than 121 persons arrested

The countdown goes; tomorrow there will be a referendum on changes on Turkey’s constitution. The discussion on the referendum to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ doesn’t mean that there can only be one side. There is always an alternative; in this case this alternative is ‘boycott’. The referendum will not bring the changes that those in favor of it promise, because there are not principal changes in favor of the people in Turkey. Those who are not in favor, meaning those who lead that section [of the ruling class] only want to protect their own power and dominance in the country.

The constitution of the Turkish Republic (TR) still maintains the constitution of the military coup d’etat from September 12th, 1980. Until today there might have been changes in the constitution and in the legislative branch but essentially there hasn’t been much change. The referendum is a game of the ruling classes in Turkey between the “liberal-Islam” section and the Kemalist bureaucrat clique. Now, in the last 48 hours there have been attacks and raids on progressive and revolutionary movements and individuals, mainly those that are boycotting the referendum elections.

In the last 48 hours about 121 persons were arrested in different cities and districts in the country. Alone in Istanbul 12 people were arrested and kept at the Anti-Terror headquarters in Istanbul. Members and supporters of the BDP (Party for Peace and Democracy) a party of the Kurdish National Movement (KNM) were arrested during their activities like distributing flyers. ESP activists’ houses were raided and they were arrested yesterday in the early morning hours.

In the Kurdish province Van, more than 15 people are under arrest. Special teams with masks and guns raided houses and official institutions of Kurdish organizations. Also district representatives of the BDP have been taken to the main police station. The police confiscated books and computers and other technical equipment.

A boycott rally in Bursa was attacked by reactionaries while police looked on

Similar operations were made in many other provinces and districts in Turkey and Turkey Kurdistan. Also, yesterday the Diyabarkir PM of the BDP Akin Birdal was attacked by a fundamentalist. He is still going through surgery. The person that attacked him was arrested. The Bursa municipality council claims that the BDP members didn’t want police protection after the human rights association released a statement criticizing Bursa for not being able to protect democratic rallies.

Until this hour it seems that operations and arrests will continue. This is a way or a conscious policy of the state to stop the oppositional elements, especially those that are boycotting the referendum.


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