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Montevideo, September 21st 2018 - 14:23 UTC

Erdogan declares victory and celebrates, but Turkish opposition advanced they would challenge results

Monday, April 17th 2017 - 10:05 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Erdogan said 25 million people had supported the proposal, which will replace Turkey's parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency Erdogan said 25 million people had supported the proposal, which will replace Turkey's parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency
The “Yes” camp obtained 51.5% of the vote, which appeared short of the decisive victory for which Erdogan and the ruling AK Party had aggressively campaigned. The “Yes” camp obtained 51.5% of the vote, which appeared short of the decisive victory for which Erdogan and the ruling AK Party had aggressively campaigned.
“For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics,” Erdogan said, referring to past military coups “For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics,” Erdogan said, referring to past military coups

President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result.

 Erdogan said 25 million people had supported the proposal, which will replace Turkey's parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency and abolish the office of prime minister, giving the “Yes” camp 51.5% of the vote.

That appeared short of the decisive victory for which he and the ruling AK Party had aggressively campaigned. Nevertheless, thousands of flag-waving supporters rallied in Ankara and Istanbul in celebration.

“For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics,” Erdogan said, referring to the military coups which marred Turkish politics for decades. “That is why it is very significant.”

Under the changes, most of which will only come into effect after the next elections due in 2019, the president will appoint the cabinet and an undefined number of vice-presidents, and be able to select and remove senior civil servants without parliamentary approval.

Erdogan himself survived a failed coup attempt last July, responding with a crackdown that has seen 47,000 people detained and 120,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs.

In Ankara, where Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addressed cheering supporters, convoys of cars honking horns clogged a main avenue as they headed towards the AK Party's headquarters, their passengers waving flags from the windows.

But the head of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said the legitimacy of the referendum was open to question.

The party earlier said it would demand a recount of up to 60% of the votes after Turkey's High Electoral Board (YSK) announced it would count ballots which had not been stamped by its officials as valid unless they could be proved fraudulent.

Internationally the reaction was of concern. The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, said the close result meant that Ankara should seek “the broadest national consensus” in implementing the vote.

Relations hit a low during the referendum campaign when EU countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, barred Turkish ministers from holding rallies in support of the changes.

The package of 18 amendments would give the president the authority to draft the budget, declare a state of emergency and issue decrees overseeing ministries without parliamentary approval.

 

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • DemonTree

    RIP democratic Turkey. So many countries are falling into authoritarianism, and this one is especially baffling. With the mostly peaceful and prosperous Europe on one side, and the disaster that is the Middle East on the other... Turks chose to become more like the Middle East.

    Apr 17th, 2017 - 10:34 am 0
  • Clyde15

    The return of the Ottoman Empire looms ever closer.

    Apr 17th, 2017 - 10:45 am 0
  • Briton

    One will just have to wait and see what happens next,

    at loggerheads with the Kurds and the EU,
    differences with the Americans and NATO as to the military base,
    and apparently friends with the Russians,

    the future of this country will be interesting to say the least.

    Apr 17th, 2017 - 07:51 pm 0
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