Turkey's CHP angered by minister's comments on referendum
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Ruling party Minister Egemen Bağış should apologize for remarks in which he doubted the mental health and patriotism of anyone intending to vote against the constitutional amendments in the forthcoming referendum, an opposition deputy said Monday.
“Egemen Bağış, who insulted the people, should immediately issue an apology,” said Muharrem İnce, deputy parliamentary group leader of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, in a statement Monday.
Arguing that Bağış still runs a translation office in the United States and owns property in that country, İnce said, “It was funny for someone who has a translation office abroad to question the people’s patriotism.”
He also said Bağış, who is Turkey’s chief negotiator for European Union accession talks, was disregarding the people’s free will, an essential element of democracy.
Bağış, in a statement over the weekend, urged the people to vote in favor of the constitutional amendments referendum, saying the approval of the amendments would work to Turkey’s advantage in its EU entry bid.
“We cannot join the EU with a constitution made by the [1980 military] junta,” he said Sunday in Mardin, a southeastern Anatolian province.