Devlet Bahceli, head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), called for people to vote in favor of changing Turkey’s constitution in the April 16 referendum.
“For sure, we will say ‘Yes’ for the state, we will say ‘Yes’ for the nation, we will say ‘Yes’ for the republic, we will say ‘Yes’ for the survival of the Turkishness,” he told MHP lawmakers in Ankara.
He added that a presidential system would “bring peace to the country and order to the state”.
The MHP leader slammed the intraparty opposition movement which has been campaigning for saying 'No' in the referendum, calling on them to establish their own party "so that you get your just deserts".
"They say 'No' just because we say 'Yes'. If we said 'No', rest assured that they would be saying 'Yes'," he said.
The MHP’s support allowed the constitutional reform bill to pass through parliament last month with 339 votes in favor -- nine more than needed to put the proposals to a referendum.
Constitutional reform has been under discussion since then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was voted president in August 2014.
The 18-article bill would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president and abolish the post of prime minister. The president would also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.
Other changes would see the minimum age for parliamentary candidates reduced to 18 and the number of deputies rise to 600. Simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new constitution.
Bahceli also reiterated his party’s “unconditional support” for a return of the death penalty following July’s attempted coup and criticized the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party for dragging its feet on bringing back hanging.
Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 but since the July 15 defeated coup, in which 248 people were killed, there have been calls for it to be reintroduced. Erdogan has said he would ratify any such bill presented by parliament.
The EU has warned that reinstating capital punishment would automatically end Turkey’s bid to join the union.
Three deputies of Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) face possible expulsion over violating the party rules.
Kayseri lawmaker Yusuf Halacoglu, Balikesir lawmaker Ismail Ok, and Isparta lawmaker Nuri Okutan and party member Sinan Ogan have been referred to the party's disciplinary committee for discharge proceedings.
The four names are accused of breaking certain provisions of the party's constitution, including those regarding membership duties and responsibilities.
The revolt among MHP members was sparked by the November 2015 general election, where the MHP narrowly got into parliament and won the least number of seats among all parliament’s parties, just 40 out of 550. The party has dismissed former parliamentarian and chairman candidate Meral Aksener and one lawmaker.
Some party members have been fighting to remove Chairman Devlet Bahceli, who has led the MHP for nearly 30 years. The dissidents tried to call a party congress last year, but they were blocked by the leadership.