Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party district leaders’ meeting in Ankara, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim slammed opposition parties, saying that “their republicanism is not acceptable”.
“If Turkey had been ruled by a monarchy, and if we had proposed a democratic system, you can be sure that all of them [opponents of the constitutional changes] would want to keep a king and queen,” he said.
The premier blasted claims by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) that the reforms would present a “regime problem”, saying: “This is incomprehensible, and the people don’t believe them.
“Turkey has no regime problem.”
Yildirim also reiterated his thanks to opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli and his party for their support. Last month, MHP deputies joined their ruling AK Party colleagues to vote in favor of the constitutional reform package.
“Turkey has also ensured the necessary political consensus for this reform,” said the premier.
CHP goes to Constitutional Court
On Tuesday, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said that his party would vote "No" in the referendum on constitution changes. Speaking to his party’s parliamentary group, he said: "We will go to the referendum and vote for democracy."
Aside from the change to an executive presidency, other reforms include allowing the president to maintain party political affiliation.
Constitutional reforms, including a shift to a presidential system, have been on the political agenda since Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then-prime minister and AK Party leader, was elected president in August 2014.
The referendum on constitutional changes is expected to be held on either April 9 or April 16.
Meanwhile, Yildirim said he was not surprised to hear that the CHP would file an application to Turkey’s Constitutional Court ,
“The CHP immediately appeals to Constitutional Court no matter what new law comes out,” he said after his meeting with Libyan Presidential Council Chairman Fayez al-Sarraj on Wednesday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with al-Sarraj, the Turkish premier said the two countries were determined to boost bilateral relations.
"It has been decided that a mutual commission will be set up to accelerate infrastructure investments in Libya," he said. "This commission, which will be formed within the Economy Ministry, will discuss the situation of 300 [Turkish] companies that have done business in Libya in the past."