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2017 Turkish constitutional referendum 'No' campaign

The 2017 Turkish constitutional referendum 'No' campaign (Turkish: Hayır) refers to a series of political campaigns led by political parties, organisations and media outlets in favour of a 'No' vote in the 2017 Turkish constitutional referendum. If the campaign is successful, it will result in Turkey remaining a parliamentary republic as opposed to an executive presidency and would constitute the first direct upset against the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) since they took office in 2002.

Başkanlığa Hayır
Campaign2017 Turkish constitutional referendum
AffiliationRepublican People's Party
Peoples' Democratic Party
Nationalist Movement Party factions
Other smaller parties and organisations (See list)
StatusLost election
SloganGeleceğim için Hayır'
'Demokratik Cumhuriyet Ortak Vatan İçin Hayır
ChantBaşkanlığa Hayır (No to an executive presidency)
 Turkish constitutional referendum 
Sunday, 16 April 2017

Choices ordered according to colour and layout of ballot paper

'No' campaigners have faced alleged government-backed coercion and suppression. On 1 March, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) unveiled a 78-point report regarding irregularities and suppression of 'No' campaigners, with Deputy Leader Öztürk Yılmaz claiming that those who were campaigning for a 'No' vote faced fear and state coercion.[1][2] CHP parliamentary group leader Engin Altay also criticised the government for using state funds to fund the 'Yes' campaign while repressing 'No' voters, claiming that their conduct did not allow them to talk of 'democracy'.[3]

A 'No' vote is favoured by the main opposition CHP and the smaller opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). Over 40 smaller political parties are also in favour of a 'No' vote, as well as a significant number of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) politicians and voters who oppose their executive's call for a 'Yes' vote. The main rivals to the 'No' campaign, which does not have a centralised or united structure, are those who are conducting a 'Yes' campaign.

The 'No' option on the ballot paper used for the referendum is coloured in a light brown.[4]



Political partiesEdit

The following political parties have favoured a 'No' vote.

Party Leader Political orientation Ref.
CHP Republican People's Party Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Kemalism [5]
MHP Nationalist Movement Party inner-party factions Collective leadership Nationalism [6]
HDP Peoples' Democratic Party Selahattin Demirtaş & Figen Yüksekdağ Left-wing [7]
Saadet Felicity Party Temel Karamollaoğlu Right-wing [7]
BBP Great Union Party inner-party factions Collective leadership Far right [8]
Vatan Patriotic Party Doğu Perinçek Kemalism [7]
HAK-PAR Rights and Freedoms Party Refik Karakoç pro-Kurdish [9]
HKP People's Liberation Party Nurullah Ankut Communism [10]
DP Democrat Party Gültekin Uysal Centre-right [11]
KP Communist Party Arif Hikmet Basa Communism [12]
DSP Democratic Left Party Önder Aksakal Centre-left [13]
LDP Liberal Democratic Party Gültekin Tırpancı Liberalism [14]
MP Nation Party Aykut Edibali Nationalism [15]
DYP True Path Party Çetin Özaçıkgöz Centre-right [16]
TSİP Socialist Workers' Party of Turkey Turgut Koçak Socialism [17]
TKP Communist Party of Turkey Hüseyin Karabulut Communism [18]
ÖDP Freedom and Solidarity Party Collective leadership Left-wing [19]
EMEP Labour Party Selma Gürkan Communism [20]
DSİP Revolutionary Socialist Workers' Party Meltem Oral & Şenol Karakaş Left-wing [21]
YP Homeland Party Sadettin Tantan Nationalism [16]
AYP Crescent Star Party Serap Gülhan Kemalism [22]
EHP Labourist Movement Party Sibel Uzun Left-wing [23]
İKP Workers' Fraternity Party Mehmet Şadi Ozansü Left-wing [24]
DİP Revolutionist Workers' Party Ömer Sungur Savran Socialism [25]
DBP Democratic Regions Party Emine Ayna pro-Kurdish [26]
HEPAR Rights and Equality Party Yücel Savaş Nationalism [27]
ESP Socialist Party of the Oppressed Sultan Ulusoy Far-left [28]
TİKP Workers Villagers Party of Turkey İsmail Durna Left [29]
ANAP Motherland Party İbrahim Çelebi Centre-right [16]
Dev-Parti Revolutionary People's Party Celal Özcan Left-wing [30]
MTP Nationalist Turkey Party Ahmet Yılmaz Büyükekmekci Nationalism [31]
ÖSP Freedom and Socialism Party Sinan Çiftyürek Far-left [32]
1920 TKP Socialist Liberation Party Şener Ataş Communism [33]
Yeşil Sol Greens and the Left Party of the Future Naci Sönmez Green politics [34]
TİVEP Unemployed's and Labourers' Party of Turkey Rıfat Derya Sercan Centre-left [35]
SYKP Socialist Refoundation Party Tülay Hatimoğlulları Oruç Far-left [36]
KP Women's Party Benal Yazgan Feminism [37]
TURAN Great Turan Movement Party Varol Esen Ultra nationalism [38]
HHP Rights and Peace Party Gürsel Yıldız Centre [39]
HTKP People's Communist Party of Turkey Emre Yağan Communism [40]
CİHAP Universe Party Kürşad Emre Öğretmek Centre [41]
Anayol Main Path Party Zafer Maden Centre-right [42]
TÜHAP People's Party of Turkey Mehmet Çetin Centre [43]
MMP National Struggle Party Ahmet Kaya Nationalism [44]
ASP AS Party Cavit Kayıkcı Nationalism [45]
İDP Workers' Democracy Party Oktay Çelik Left-wing [46]
TKH Communist Movement of Turkey Erkan Pınarbaşı Communism [47]
Devrimci United Revolutionist Party Ufuk Göllü Left-wing [48]
AP Justice Party Vecdet Öz Centre-right [49]
TBP Unity Party of Turkey Hüseyin Ekici Kemalism [50]
SEP Socialist Laborers' Party Gökçe Şentürk Socialism [51]
EYP Universal Path Party Metin Güler Alevism [52]
Büyük Great Turkey Party Tevfik Diker Centre-right [53]
DGP Democratic Young Party Erkin Çözeli Centre [54]
Ulusal Parti National Party Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu Third Position [55]


The following organisations favour a 'No' vote.

NGO Type Political orientation Ref.
Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) Trade union Centre-left [56]
Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Medical union Centre-left [57]
MHP Dissidents Intra-party opposition Nationalism [58]
BBP Dissidents Intra-party opposition Far-right [59]
Confederation of Public Workers' Unions of Turkey (Türkiye Kamu-Sen) Trade union Centre-right [60]
Confederation of Public Workers' Unions (KESK) Trade union Left-wing [61]
Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) Trade union Left-wing [62]
United Confederation of Public Employees' Unions (Birleşik Kamu-İş) Trade union Kemalism [63]
Atatürkist Thought Association (ADD) Kemalism [64]
Youth Union of Turkey (TGB) Youth organisation Kemalism [65]
Republican Women's Association (CKD) Women organization Kemalism [66]
Retired Military Officers Association of Turkey (TESUD) Military veterans organization Kemalism [67]
Artists' Union of Turkey (TSB) Art organization Kemalism [68]
Artists' Initiative Art organization Left-wing [69]
Turkish Law Institution Institution Kemalism [70]
National Constitution Movement Think tank Kemalism [71]
Intellectuals' Hearth Nationalism [72]
Confederation of Turkish Tribes (TÜRKBOY) Nationalism [73]
Social Thought Association (TDD) Nationalism [74]
Turkish Left Magazine Third Position [55]

Republican People's Party (CHP) campaignEdit

CHP MPs holding a press conference in Diyarbakır after campaigning for a 'No' vote
CHP former leader Deniz Baykal at a 'No' campaign event in France
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu addressing a 'No' rally in Diyarbakır

The Republican People's Party (CHP) held a pre-campaign rally in Adana on 3 December 2016, titled 'We will not partition Turkey'. The rally was also supported by Idealists, who traditionally support the MHP.[75] The CHP parliamentary group voted against the proposals in Parliament but was unable to block their approval.[76] On 15 February 2017, it was announced that the CHP wouldn't refer the voting process, which had been marred by unconstitutional open voting by AKP MPs, to the Constitutional Court, claiming that they believed that voters would reject the proposals at the ballot box.[77]

On 6 February, the CHP unveiled a 10-article booklet detailing the reasons why they supported a 'No' vote, with the 10 key points being opposition to a 'one-man regime', a party state, the end of powers of Parliament, a government without scrutiny, a biased judiciary, en economic crisis, terrorism, the erosion of fundamental and universal values, to partitioning Turkey and an 'elected monarchy'.[78] This followed on from a 21 December 2016 publication released by CHP Deputy Leader Bülent Tezcan, containing 35 questions and answers about the proposed presidential system.[79]

On 28 February, the CHP unveiled their campaign, under the slogan ‘Geleceğim İçin Hayır’ ('No' for my future). It was stated that party logos would not be used during the campaign.[80] The party also unveiled its first official campaign rally to be at Amasya, though one of the party's dissident MPs Muharrem İnce held a rally at Alaplı, Zonguldak Province on 8 March.[81][82] Also on 8 March International Women's Day, the CHP Women's Wing in İzmir held an event where participants spelled out the word 'No' with their bodies, with the scene captured by helicopter. The event was also attended by party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's wife Selvi and Deputy Leader Selin Sayek Böke.[83]

Many CHP MPs began visiting different areas of Turkey and Turkish expats abroad in order to gather support for a 'No' vote soon after the referendum date was announced. The party's former leader Deniz Baykal attended an event in France while İstanbul Member of Parliament Sezgin Tanrıkulu and parliamentary group leader Özgür Özel led a group of MPs to Diyarbakır where the party has no representation.[84][85]

At the start of the campaign, party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu reportedly asked the party's officials to conduct the 'No' campaign on a purely positive basis, refraining from using a negative or alienating discourse. It was also reported that the CHP were getting ready to make a campaign film similar to the 'No' campaign for the Chilean national plebiscite of 1988, which resulted in a victory for the 'No' side and an eventual end to the regime of Augusto Pinochet.[86]

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) campaignEdit


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External linksEdit