The rhetoric turns into harsh and somewhat insulting in both sides but No front is certainly more agressive and frustrated. They play the victim side which is a frequent cultural code to turn to. Three CHP women claimed to be beaten by AKP followers yesterday. The No media used their claim but today we learn that it was a single person who attacked them when they have knocked his door to distribute no campaign leaflets. The guy might be an AKP voter but is this case enough to declare that “AKP people attacked CHP activists?”  In the mean time, deep Leftist no or boycott bloc focused on those leftists who is pro-yes in the referendum. They do not abstain from using violence against their comrades… My guess is Yes votes will be more in the referendum. Some MHP voters and some Kurdish voters seem to plan vote for Yes. But the margins may not be big… Well we will see… I hope this referendum rhetoric will not turn uglier…
A billboard ad put up by the Republican People?s Party which claimed that saying ?yes? to constitutional reforms would mean saying ?yes? to Muslim women being dressed like nuns drew strong criticism from the Justice and Development Party government.
Today’s Zaman: A billboard ad put up by the Republican People?s Party which claimed that saying ?yes? to constitutional reforms would mean saying ?yes? to Muslim women being dressed like nuns drew strong criticism from the Justice and Development Party government.

FATMA DİŞLİ ZIBAK – Controversial posters of the CHP

The main opposition Republican People?s Party (CHP), whose leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu recently promised to resolve Turkey?s controversial headscarf problem, became a target of severe criticism when it posted referendum campaign banners in İstanbul that likened Islamic headscarves to nuns? habits.

ABDULLAH BOZKURT – Post-referendum era

Following a two-month-long intense public debate over constitutional changes, it has become clear that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) still has the ability to manage the agenda of the country even though the public has grown weary of its eight years in government.

Who is pro-yes and who is pro-no?

Erdoğan in Istanbul [istanbul rally photos taken from PM Erdoğan’s son’s (Bilal Erdoğan) twitter public account!]

Pro-Yes panel in Istanbul interrupted by protesters

from Hurriyet Dailynews
People of different political backgrounds promoting a ‘yes’ vote in the forthcoming Sept. 12 referendum were egged by individuals at a Taksim hotel Saturday

Erdoğan in Istanbul [istanbul rally photos taken from PM Erdoğan’s son’s (Bilal Erdoğan) twitter public account!]

Turkish opposition steps up referendum campaign

from EurActiv.com

Turkey’s main opposition party CHP has detailed its hostility to the constitutional amendments proposed by the ruling AK party, which will be voted upon in a referendum on 12 September.

ANDREW FINKEL – Yes or no

The choice shouldn?t be easier. However, for many Turkish citizens entering the polling stations this Sunday, making up their minds on whether to support a package of constitutional reforms, the decision whether to stamp the ballot paper on the left side ?YES? or the right side ?NO? is surprisingly complex.

Yes to reform package is important for EU process by Alİ Yurttagül

Sept. 12 is again becoming an important symbol in the constitution process.

LALE KEMAL – The virtues of a yes vote

I am going to be among those who will vote yes for the constitutional amendments, envisaging the most comprehensive changes ever made over the 28 year old military-dictated Constitution, a by-product of the bloody 1980 military coup.

Post-referendum tutelage mobilization

by ESER KARAKAŞ-  STAR
We as a society should be ready for a new reactionary move and a new pro-tutelage mobilization following the Sept. 12 referendum. It is indeed not very easy to clearly say what shape the new pro-tutelage wave will take.

What have they said ?yes? to so far?

by MEHMET BARLAS – SABAH
Those planning to vote ?yes? in the referendum are angry and surprised about the decisions of those planning to vote ?no? and ask them why they are saying ?no? to the reforms if they also think the current Constitution should be changed.

Kurds? test with boycott

by GÜLAY GÖKTÜRK –  BUGÜN
To tell you the truth, I am not one of those who see the upcoming referendum as a matter of life or death for Turkey.

Erdogan seeks Kurdish support for reforms

from FT.com – World, Europe
Turkey’s prime minister sought to win Kurdish support in a referendum on an overhaul of the judicial system, promising more constitutional change after next year’s general election

ANDREW FINKEL – Referendum: no longer a done deal

In times of peace, Papa Nietzsche tells us, the war-like man attacks himself. What he neglected to add was that the merely argumentative man holds a referendum. As anyone in Turkey who has turned on the news, or merely stepped outside to be accosted by vans broadcasting speeches and political jingles, is well aware, the country will be going to the polls shortly to decide whether to approve a package of constitutional reforms.

Leader of Turkeys main opposition CHP Kemal ...

Leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu greets his supporters during a rally in Ankara September 5, 2010. A referendum on a constitutional reform bill in Turkey will be held on September 12.? Read more » REUTERS/Umit Bektas

A Constitutional Referendum is Days Away

from Mavi Boncuk by M.A.M

Mavi Boncuk |

A constitutional referendum on a number of changes to the constitution will be held in Turkey on 12 September 2010, although it had initially been expected for July 2010. The changes, which relate to the role of the judiciary and the military, were passed in parliament in late April and early May 2010 with over 336 votes, below the two-thirds majority of 367 votes needed to pass them directly,but enough to send them to a referendum within sixty days after President of Turkey Abdullah Gül signs the law.

Where do civil society organizations stand with respect to the referendum? by MAHMUT ARSLAN

Turkey is heading to the polls on Sept. 12. It is ironic that the Turkish people were deprived of democracy and elections on Sept. 12, 1980, and, on the 30-year anniversary of this coup, they are going to the polls of their own volition to regain, albeit partially, what was forcefully taken from them.

YAVUZ BAYDAR – Beyond the referendum, an imposing agenda

Next week today we shall know what Turkey?s primary direction is. Votes cast in the referendum, and even those that are not cast, will tell us whether the people still trust the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its leader to carry through the expected reform agenda and whether adversaries of the AK Party are emerging as trustworthy alternatives for next year?s elections

FATMA DİŞLİ ZIBAK – MHP?s attitude

Since the beginning of the government?s reform process, the opposition of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to the reforms to be presented in a referendum on Sept. 12 has confused many.

Why are the CHP women outdated?

by ATILGAN BAYAR – AKŞAM
There is no doubt that Republican People?s Party?s (CHP) female deputies, such as Necla Arat, Birgen Keleş, Canan Arıtman and Nur Serter, are unsuccessful. And there is no doubt that Emine Erdoğan, the wife of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is successful.

ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ – 1980 coup plotters could and should be sent to jail!

Big events may be represented in our inner world by quite irrelevant symbols. This is especially true for children. For me, the Sept. 12, 1980, military coup has always been associated with the smell of burning paper.

What is the Referendum About?

from Kamil Pasha by Jenny White

No one seems to know. Reports from Turkey speak of marches of ?yes? voters and ?no? voters in the September 12 referendum on changes to the Turkish constitution. There is chanting in the streets and people reportedly are beating each other up over ?yes? or ?no?. Yet no one seems to know what the proposed changes are. I haven?t found the list in the press either. The whole referendum has become ?yes? for PM Erdogan and the AKP, ?no? against Erdogan. (see my previous post on this)

The Kurdish Kurdish Opening

from Istanbul Calling by Yigal Schleifer

I’ve been on the road lately, so I’m just now catching up on current developments. One article that jumped out at me is Henri Barkey’s Aug. 31 piece on the Foreign Policy website, “Turkey’s Silent Crisis.” In the article, Barkey — who just returned from a trip to Southeast Turkey — takes a look at the resurgent Kurdish problem in Turkey and at some of the trouble brewing under the surface. One of the interesting developments he looks at is how Kurdish politicians in Turkey are increasingly organizing an effort to move towards some form of local self government (trying to nip this movement in the bud, the Turkish state is currently prosecuting dozens of Kurdish mayors in the southeast). From his article:

Charter referendum new test for Turkey’s PM Erdogan | Reuters

What?s in The Referendum? Let?s Compare.

from Kamil Pasha by Jenny White

A very kind reader of this blog sent me this pdf, which presents the existing constitutional language on the left and the proposed changes on the right, so an easy comparison is possible. (Still all in Turkish. I?m racing a deadline, so can?t do the translation. Sorry.) Here?s the pdf: anayasa_karsilastirma

FATMA DİŞLİ ZIBAK – Reflections on referendum campaigns

With less than a week remaining until the referendum, political parties supporting a ?no? vote and a ?yes? vote are playing their final trump cards to win the support of the voters.

YAVUZ BAYDAR – Crossroads between ?yes? and ?no?

In my last column before the crucial referendum (the three-day-long Eid al-Fitr comes in between), it is, I believe, worthwhile to revisit the vote?s possible impacts.

‘No’ voters are defenders of 1980 coup, says Turkish PM

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that people who vote ‘no’ in Sunday’s referendum are defenders of a Constitution made by the military junta in 1980.

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