Sunday, September 12

Holding breath- FIBA finals and REFERENDUM in Turkey

Tonight, was a legendary night. Turkey's national basketball team got itself a place in the finals of FIBA World Championship. It was an amazing game and it wasn't until the last few seconds that the faith of the game was determined. Even as I write this post, I can hear cheers coming from the outside. And its only 02.00am in the morning on a Saturday night. Tomorrow, Turkey will be playing US and finally determining who will get the gold medal. 

But just as we anxiously wait for the results of tomorrow's game, there is another big challenge facing Turkey tomorrow- on September 12th, millions of Turkish citizens will be casting their votes in the controversial Referendum. 

The big challenge, is whether the majority of Turks will say "EVET" (yes) or "HAYIR" (no) to amendments of a constitution adopted in 1982 by the military. Though, there are some positive changes at stake, majority of secular and liberal Turks are concerned by the right granted to the government [if the majority of votes amounts to YES that is] to control appointment of senior judges- a step seen as "part of the back door Islamist coup". The following article gives a better view of proposed changes and whats in it for the rest of the Turkey:

Kilicdaroglu vs Erdogan (photos from
Turkish Daily News) 
Depending on the results, much of Turkish politics in post- referendum period will center around the headscarf issue, the on- going struggle against Kurdish Worker's Party- PKK, most probably more talks on democratic autonomy for Kurds and etc.  

And as AKPs biggest opponent and critique CHP has been running its own anti- referendum campaign (or "HAYIR" campaign), Prime Minister Erdogan, have dismissed their campaign as mere propaganda. While it might sound like propaganda to the Prime Minister, CHP's Kemal Kilicdaroglu's argument that "they [AKP] want to seize control of the judiciary and end the separation of powers that Turkey learned from Western countries" doesn't seem or sound like propaganda neither to me, nor to all those "HAYIR" supporters. 

Anyway, whatever the results will be, its going to be an interesting day here in Turkey tomorrow...  

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