Turkey’s Constitutional Referendum: A Roundtable
"Since the elections of June 2015, Turkey has been in a state of ever-worsening turmoil. The AKP successfully managed to block the establishment of a coalition government based on the June election results, as a consequence of which Turkey was constitutionally obligated to hold another election in November of 2015. The interceding months between June and November of that year witnessed the suicide bombing in Suruç as well as the suicide bombing in Ankara. The government called an end to a ceasefire agreement that it had made with Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). A state of emergency was imposed in Turkey’s Kurdish regions, with 'twenty-four hour martial lockdowns' that lasted for months on end in some places. Under this state of emergency, a ten-year-old girl named Cemile Çağırga was shot and killed by Turkish armed forces and her family had to keep her body in a freezer because they couldn’t leave the house – let alone make funerary arrangements – under the state of emergency. Kurdish human rights advocate Tahir Elçi was shot and killed by unknown assailants in Diyarbakır. As one commentator wrote in October 2015, less than a month before the new election, we have lost too much.'"