Erdogan fan names baby "Yes" ahead of Turkey referendum vote

Erdogan fan names baby
"Yes" in a cradle in her family's home. Screenshot. (Reuters)
2 months ago

Views 1391

+ -

ERGANI – As Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan continued campaigning for a referendum in Turkey's conservative southeast on Tuesday (March 14), one of his staunch supporters named his newborn daughter "Evet", or "Yes", in a show of solidarity for the upcoming public vote.

Mustafa Celik from the town of Ergani in the mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey, named his daughter "Evet", the Turkish word for "Yes", to show his family's support for constitutional reforms that would strengthen the powers of the presidency and allow Erdogan to stay in office until 2029.

"As the Celik family, we are with Mr. President [Tayyip Erdogan] for the referendum on April 16. Nobody should doubt that. We are with him until the end. That is why we gave this name to our baby," Celik said.

Turkey's southeast has been rocked by waves of violence as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been fighting a three-decades-old insurgency against Ankara to demand autonomy in Turkey's southeast region.

Mustafa said he hoped his vote would help guarantee a peaceful future for his "Yes" baby.

Songul Celik, the baby’s mother said the name wasn’t planned but the decision was made after she was born.

"It wasn't something that we planned to do. We took this decision with my husband after the baby was born and named her 'Yes'. There is a referendum on April 16. We will vote in support of the 'Yes' campaign. My baby is very fidgety and spoiled. She cries all the time. I spend most of my time looking after her but we do love our Evet [Yes]."

Erdogan says he needs the proposed new powers to tackle Kurdish rebels, Islamist militants and other political enemies in a land with a history of unstable coalition governments.

Erdogan, the most popular but also most divisive politician in modern Turkish history, has long cast himself as the champion of ordinary, pious Turks exploited by a secular elite.