ISTANBUL—The Nor Zartonk movement on Sunday issued a statement on Sunday calling against the constitutional referendum to take place in Turkey on April 16.
In their statement, Turkey-based Nor Zartonk calls on the Armenians who will vote during the constitutional referendum elections to oppose the “racist, sectarian and unilateral regime of dictatorship” and to collectively rise for “the demands of equality, freedom, peace and justice.”
A translated version of their statement can be read below.
Throughout the history of the Turkish Republic, the constitutions have not been drafted as texts based on social consensus, but were prepared as a means of legitimacy and continuity of those in power. The constitution did not satisfy most sectors of society except to those of the ruling class, causing serious victimization and dissatisfaction in the long term. Constitutional amendments have been made more frequently in Turkey than in any country of the world, perhaps because of this reason. New constitutional debates have always been on the agenda.
Likewise, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) insisted on a “New Constitution” from the day it was first established. The 1982 constitution, which emerged as the result of the fascist military coup of 1980, was certainly far from being able to meet the needs of a very large segment of society. In this respect, the AKP’s new constitutional pronouncements directly served its own agenda than for a wider audience.
Of course, the main demands of all these social sectors were more in the context of democracy and freedoms. During the 15-year AKP government, a couple of changes were made to the 1982 constitution. Through referenda held in 2007 and 2010, fundamental changes toward the executive and judiciary powers were accepted. But as a result of these changes, a more libertarian, egalitarian and democratic constitution could not be reached, and important tension has emerged at the point of judicial independence and separation of powers.
The AKP is seeking to impose a new coup constitution after the July 15 coup attempt, which is described by the president himself as a “grace of God.” The principles such as separation of powers, judicial independence and rule of law that have not been implemented since the June 7 elections will be constitutionally abolished and a single man power will be established in the country.
The conflicts and cracks in the ruling party, which were unfolding after July 15, are expected to be overcome by one man.
Throughout history, the power of one man has brought war, blood, poverty and tears to the peoples all over the world. The economic and social consequences of the one man order that our country has experienced since June 7 coincide with these historic experiences.
Turkey today with its 15-year AKP ruling is isolated from the world, has no freedoms, the economic crisis is felt more and more, unemployment is steadily increasing; education, health and life quality are getting worse day by day.
The same AKP government has plundered nature and natural wealth, public institutions and organizations and institutions from prosperity, and has made great strides in corruption in world history.
AKP, based on an obedience principle rather than merit during recruitment, filled state officials with their supporters. With the bribery and torpedo wheels setup to grow in size, the society has suffered a great moral/ethical erosion.
Turkey has become a country where people are imprisoned for dissenting comments through social media, let alone newspapers, radio, television and internet sites and where opposition lawmakers are imprisoned, journalists and academics are arrested or fired for doing business, similar to every dictatorship today.
In Turkey, by the order of one person, dozens of Kurdish cities have been demolished, thousands have been displaced, and hundreds of people have been massacred.
The question asked in the referendum on April 16 is whether we will say yes or no to all these corruption, massacres, oppression, and corruption.
We, the Armenians, call against racist, sectarian and unilateral regime of dictatorship!
We call against the patriarchate and foundation elections, which have not been held for nine years, as a reference to all the dirty interests of the Armenian people.
We say NO to those who deny the Armenian Genocide at every opportunity and who want to secure their power by raising the polarization in society by ceaselessly alienating us!
The constitutional referendum on April 16 may be the beginning of this dark period. Let us call on the Armenians to raise the demands of equality, freedom, peace and justice, to answer all these AKP policies–let’s organize. NO/ՈՉ/VOÇ.