The statement said the founders were going to support the constitutional amendment package in the Sept. 12 referendum. It said that the sovereignty of the nation had been handed over to public agencies following coups. “Those powers who grasped the fact that the Republican People's Party (CHP) will never come to power in Turkey have attempted to make the CHP a partner to power through coup d'état constitutions,” the statement said. The statement quoted Alparslan Türkeş's saying, “the worst democracy is much better than the best coup administration.” The statement announced that the Founders Council will be voting in favor of the amendment package.
However, the statement also made clear that their support for the reform was an expression of support for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, saying: “Our support of the package is to be on the side of the nation and on the side of the nation's will.
It is not important who is making these amendments. We continue our opposition to the AK Party. While we appreciate the good things it does we will continue to warn it when it does something wrong.”
Founding president also supports package
In related developments, the founding president of the Idealist Clubs – Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) affiliated youth organizations – has lambasted the MHP for its “no” campaign against the Sept. 12 referendum on constitutional reform.
The Idealists Clubs Founding President Ramiz Ongun announced on Sunday that he will vote “yes” in the referendum. Criticizing the MHP, he said, “Why are our Daltons [referring to MHP administration, a reference to the comic strip Lucky Luke] trying to protect the Constitution that the late Türkeş [MHP founder Alparslan Türkeş] was against. Isn’t that a shame?” In a statement that made his stance on the amendment package clear, Ongun said he met Türkeş when he was 17 at the Adana Turkish Hearths. He said that he had to leave the country for more than seven years after the Sept. 12 1980 coup, before he could return.
Ongun said he had been tried in trials against the MHP and its affiliated organizations after the coup, noting that he had been cleared of all charges.
“First there was the military court, and then the security court [State Security Court, or DGM – these are now-defunct courts that had special criminal court powers]. The trials went on for two and a half years. They tried us like they had any sort of evidence. In one court, they wanted my execution, the other court didn’t understand why.”
He said most of the violence in the run-up to the 1980 coup was provoked. Ongun said he would vote a firm “yes” on the referendum, saying there was no point in restricting politics to a narrow street. He also said he was against turning one of Turkey’s most crucial issues into material for fighting between political parties. “Hasn’t the Constitution been changed many times? Mr. [MHP leader Devlet] Bahçeli always bragged about the changes. It is okay when you, personally, amend it, but it is bad when someone else does it. Is that how it is? This change will amend the most problematic articles.”
He also noted that he had had an iftar diner with Prime Minister on Sunday, but the two did not talk about politics. “I was going to say ‘yes’ all along,” he said.