Ökkeş Namlı, mayor of the Düziçi Municipality in Osmaniye province, has threatened to fire municipal workers if they vote “no” in a referendum on Sunday on a switch to an executive presidency, the haberdar news website reported on Thursday.
Speaking in the presence of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies, AKP member Namlı said: “If they eat the bread of the AKP and do not vote [‘yes’], may they get no benefit from it. I am talking before the district head of the party and its deputies. While your children are there [jobless], I am vile if I keep them [those who vote ‘no’ in the referendum] there [as municipal workers].”
Namlı said those people who work for the municipality and vote “no” are vile and dishonest as well.
In a similar development, a district governor in the Tutak district of the eastern province of Ağrı has threatened to cut off agricultural subsidies granted to residents if their villages vote against a constitutional reform package that will be put to a public vote this Sunday.
The ruling AKP, backed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), pushed through the legislation that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says will bring the strong leadership needed to prevent a return of the fragile coalition governments of the past.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) fear the reform will fuel authoritarianism.
The reform will enable Erdoğan to appoint and dismiss government ministers, take back the leadership of the ruling party and govern until 2029.
The plans foresee presidential and general elections in 2019, with a maximum of two five-year terms.