The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) administration demanded the resignation of Ozan Erdem, the AKP Manisa provincial deputy chairman, on Wednesday after he said party members must be ready for a civil war if a referendum on a constitutional amendment package that will switch Turkey to an executive presidency fails to be approved.
AKP Deputy Chairman Mustafa Ataş told the Hürriyet daily on Wednesday that the views expressed by Erdem during a youth wing meeting in Manisa’s Soma district on Monday are unacceptable and do not fit with AKP policy.
“As soon as I was informed about the incident, I talked to the Manisa provincial chairman and demanded the resignation of the deputy chairman [Erdem],” Ataş said.
Speaking to party members and supporters at a meeting hall in Soma on Monday, Erdem said if the AKP is unsuccessful in the referendum on April 16, then people must be ready for a civil war.
“If we end up unsuccessful in this referendum, get ready for a civil war. We should know that either from among us or from outside of us, the cards will be reshuffled and the plotting will start all over again. … Just as we sacrificed our blood and our lives [on July 15], this time we must give with our votes. But not just for ourselves; for God’s sake, please call and tell everyone in your address book,” Erdem said.
He further added, “I believe that if we can get through this [process] with success, we are going to achieve our dreams and [party] goals for 2023, 2053 and 2071 much faster as a great and strong Turkey.”
After Erdem’s video was spread among Internet users and shared in the media, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Manisa deputy Dr. Tur Yıldız Biçer submitted a parliamentary question on the claims and threats made by Erdem.
“The statements of the deputy district chairman of the AKP are obvious blackmail and constitute a crime. For what reason could it be asserted that a civil war would break out?” she asked while submitting her questions to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to be answered.