As major reform package garners broad public support, Erdogan calls for compromise-based new constitution
Following the triumph of his party’s constitutional amendment package in Sunday’s referendum, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent warm messages to citizens who voted against the package in a speech he gave. Erdogan highlighted in his remarks that there were no losers among the electorate when it came to the referendum – asserting that the establishing of democracy and the expansion of the realm of freedoms was to everyone’s benefit. He thanked all those who participated in the vote. The prime minister’s speech came after the referendum results were released. During his speech, Erdogan issued a call to party leaders, saying: "Come, let’s make a new constitution all together." The referendum results will be a milestone in the effort toward producing a new constitution for Turkey, Erdogan said, explaining that his party would set to work on the project immediately and that throughout this process they would seek the widest spectrum of compromise possible. The prime minister said through the power of the people an important obstacle had been overcome in the struggle to further democracy and the supremacy of law, and continued: "How happy it is for us that we have risen up the ranks of democracy, law and justice through cooperation. To crown our republic with full democracy, we went to the ballot boxes. We grasped the torch of freedom and justice together. We are saying with our heads held high that in the public vote was manifested the people’s will. The winner on Sept. 12 was our democracy. The strength of democracy, politics and the national will are today much multiplied." Erdogan also said the position that regarded tutelage as a value to be upheld had been lost with the referendum results, saying: "The loser today is the coup-supporting point of view. This position -- which opposes change and whatever change will bring -- has lost." The referendum marks a turning point in Turkish democracy, he said, asserting that the zeal of those who supported the coup mentality had been stunted. "From now on in Turkey, the nation’s will shall outshine any dirty games. The ‘yes’ decision that emerged today is a result of the longing of our people for democracy," he said.