Today, head of the Estonian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Marianne Mikko and member of the delegation Jaak Madison start the observation mission at the referendum on constitutional amendments in Turkey, which will be held on Sunday, 16 April.
In Mikko’s opinion, the Turkish society is more or less equally divided between the supporters of the constitutional reform and those who are against it. “Some are for President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and strong presidential power, others are clearly against. This is the impression received after meetings with Turkish journalists, NGOs, trade unions and representatives of authorities in January,” PACE Monitoring Committee’s co-rapporteur on Turkey and Vice-President of the PACE Marianne Mikko said.
Mikko explained that the constitutional reform would increase the number of members of parliament from 550 to 600, but at the same time give President Erdoğan more powers and authority.
“Such a rapid transition from parliamentary to presidential system of government is not reasonable. The Venice Committee of the Council of Europe is also of the opinion that the referendum is conducted hurriedly, and the planned constitutional changes do not take into consideration the interests of all groups of population,” Mikko remarked.
Before the referendum on constitutional amendments, the 20-member delegation of the PACE will meet with the head of the Electoral Council of Turkey, and the representatives of the media and NGOs, and the leaders of political parties both from among the supporters and opponents of the constitutional reform.
“Turkish constitutional referendum is another milestone that shows the countries of Europe whether Turkey is moving towards authoritarianism, or an unlikely miracle will take place and Erdoğan’s proposals to change the constitution will be rejected at the referendum,” member of the Estonian delegation to the PACE Jaak Madison said. “Unfortunately recent polls indicate that around 55 percent are in favour of amendments to the constitution. This is a sign to Europe that such a country does not fit into the European Union, and it would also call into question the cooperation with Turkey,” Madison added.
Marianne Mikko will observe the Turkish constitutional referendum in Ankara and Jaak Madison in Antalya.
For further information please contact: Marianne Mikko, +372 5646 3614
Jaak Madison, +372 5817 1349
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