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Turkey

Erdogan pledges $80mn in projects at Diyarbakir campaign rally

By Rudaw 1/4/2017
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan campaigning in Diyarbakir in advance of an April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments. Photo: AA
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan campaigning in Diyarbakir in advance of an April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments. Photo: AA
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised the inauguration of 85 projects worth $80 million when addressing supporters in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey during campaigning for the April 16 referendum on amendments to the country’s constitution.
 
The most important projects he promised are the extension of natural gas to the city and the sewage system.
 
“We will extend the natural gas to these areas, but the PKK terrorist organization will come and explode it. They are traitors. They do not love my Kurdish brothers. They could never represent my Kurdish brothers. Everything they do is a lie,” Erdogan said, referring to fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
 
He assured his supporters that as long as he rules the country as president, nothing “could do them harm.”
 
He also said they will continue to boost the region’s economic infrastructure as his party is the one for solving problems. “Whenever you are in trouble, we will be there for you.”
  
“Diyarbakir is our heart and we love it,” he told his supporters at a rally. “As our history was in partnership, so is the future. God willing, a great future is ahead.”
 
He also said no party or force could “dissociate this geography and nation from us.”
  
Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) supports the constitutional amendments that will see the country’s parliamentary system of government replaced with a powerful presidency. The pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), that has its base in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, has opposed the changes.

Around 18 percent of registered voters said in February that they had not decided how to vote. Large numbers of undecided votes live in Kurdish provinces where tensions are still running high between the army and Kurdish guerrillas.

Military operations against the PKK are still ongoing in southeastern Turkey, alienating many voters as thousands of government opponents, including elected officials, are in prison and military curfews are in place in many areas. In other areas, neighbourhoods have been partially or completely destroyed, resulting in mass migration of people out of the region. 

According to HDP, at the start of this year, 8,711 members and supporters of their party have been detained and 2,705 have been arrested since July 2015, when the peace process between Ankara and the PKK fell apart and the conflict renewed. 
 
These issues are likely to have an impact when voters go to the polls. 

The proposed constitutional changes would effectively abolish the position of prime minister, give the president the power to appoint and remove ministers, and hold the leadership of a political party while in office. It would also allow Erdogan to possibly stay in power until 2029. 

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Stewee Guy
Stewee Guy | 2/4/2017
Don't believer Erdogan he is a dictator who could lie a million lies just to stay in power forever. Just remember how many lies he lied to the Syrian people.
Destroyed | 2/4/2017
You destroyed Diyarbakir in the first place. Pledging $80 million dollar is not enough. It should be thirty billion dollar. So get lost Erdogan. Fuck off.
Muraz Adzhoev | 2/4/2017
President Erdogan has promised important projects, partnership with the Kurdish brothers, great future, no trouble and no harm. "He also said no party or force (PKK) could “dissociate this (the Kurdish) geography and (the Kurdish) nation from us". There was one, but the most significant issue left out of promises, in particular the inalienable national right of the Kurdish people to autonomous self-rule of Northern Kurdistan region in united, integrated, democratic Turkey with great future. Erdogan "forgot" to Turkey's support to independence of Southern Kurdistan from deadly failed Iraq. He also could have promised support to reintegration of Western Kurdistan with independent Southern Kurdistan as far as Syria too became a deadly failed state. Erdogan should know that there will be no place and no room for PKK-PYD in independent Kurdistan. Erdogan must promise and provide much more true pro-Kurdish intentions in official words and actual deeds, if he wants Turkey to be a great and leading regional country.
Jamie | 2/4/2017
so you bomb kobane (your "kurdish brothers"), kill kurds in turkey (your "kurdish sisters"), put peaceful kurdish party leaders in jail (your "kurdish people") and use your intelligence agency MIT to act like kurdish PKK killing thousands THEN say kurds are your ppl? Fuck you! That gas is from Vladimir, Russia which you're gonna make profit from you cunt. I hope you die just fucking die (better someone kill your son, daughter and grandchildren and let you live to experience life just like how our kurdish mums and pops experience life).
Eugene | 2/4/2017
It is good that Mr. Erdogan will invest in Turkish Kurdistan...this is almost like adding another part on to the Ottoman Empire... Turkey,Kurdistan-Erbil,the Nineveh Plains,Al Mosul,Anbar & eastern Syria need a route to another Sea(the Red Sea) just incase the Black Sea & the mediterrean Sea became under control of enemy forces...this alliance could help protect all of these areasA new Super-Highway,2 railroads(north & south)..an oil pipeline,and gas pipeline..to connect to the new pipeline in Jordan, a massive water canal,for drip irrigation along it's path (for orchards & vegetables).,,and a new multi-million city could be constructed by the intersection of the railroads,highway and the Euphrates....Al mosul and other areas could be re-built. Too bad that Mr. Erdogan doesn't concentrate on a New Ottoman Empire..instead of NATO,Europe,and Russia.....
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