Turkey declares victory in referendum on expanding Erdogan powers

Published: April 16, 2017
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Supporters of Turkey's president celebrate during a rally near the headquarters of the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) on April 16, 2017 in Ankara. PHOTO: AFP

Supporters of Turkey's president celebrate during a rally near the headquarters of the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) on April 16, 2017 in Ankara. PHOTO: AFP

Supporters of Turkey's president celebrate during a rally near the headquarters of the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) on April 16, 2017 in Ankara. PHOTO: AFP Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan casts his ballot at a polling station during a referendum in Istanbul, Turkey, April 16, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

ANKARA/ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Sunday declared victory for the ‘Yes’ camp in the referendum on expanding the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying the country had opened a “new page” in its democracy.
“The presidential system, according to unofficial results, has been confirmed with a ‘Yes’ vote,” Yildirim told supporters from the balcony of the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara.
“This is a decision made by the people. In our democracy’s history, a new page has opened,” he added.

Tense Turkey votes in crunch referendum on Erdogan powers

A “Yes” vote would replace Turkey’s parliamentary democracy with an all-powerful presidency and may see Erdogan in office until at least 2029, in the most radical change to the country’s political system in its modern history.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan casts his ballot at a polling station during a referendum in Istanbul, Turkey, April 16, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

The outcome would also shape Turkey’s strained relations with the European Union. The Nato member state has curbed the flow of migrants – mainly refugees from wars in Syria and Iraq – into the bloc but Erdogan says he may review the deal after the vote.

In Turkey’s three biggest cities – Istanbul, Izmir and the capital Ankara – the “No” camp appeared set to prevail narrowly, according to Turkish television stations.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said that the “Yes” camp had not won as many votes as expected, but was still ahead nationwide.

‘Undeniably successful achievement’

The leader of Turkey’s nationalist MHP opposition party said on Sunday that the outcome of a referendum on boosting the powers of President Erdogan was an “undeniably successful achievement” and should be respected.

Devlet Bahceli, who supported the “yes” campaign in the Sunday’s vote.

Opposition to demand vote recount

The country’s main opposition will demand a recount of up to 60% of votes cast in a referendum, party deputy chairman Erdal Aksunger said on Sunday.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) earlier said that “illegal acts” were being carried out in favor of the government in the referendum.

Turkey’s High Electoral Board said it would count ballots that had not been stamped by its officials as valid unless they could be proved fraudulent, citing a high number of complaints that its officials at polling stations had failed to stamp them.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Sun tzu
    Apr 17, 2017 - 12:29AM

    So no muslim democracy anywhere now….Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 17, 2017 - 12:30AM

    A Yes Vote could help bring stability in the country and curb military ambitions for supremecy in Turkish democracy..::

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • MS
    Apr 17, 2017 - 2:33AM

    Beginning of the end of Turkey. Question is who will go first, Turkey or Erdogan.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 17, 2017 - 2:35AM

    Next step is revival of Khilafat. Khalifa Erdogan.Recommend

  • UR
    Apr 17, 2017 - 4:56AM

    Congratulations to Turkey for this historic victoryRecommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Apr 17, 2017 - 6:04AM

    In various developing countries a so-called process of democracy is being used to have despots sworn in on a permanent basis. How so very convenient.Recommend

  • Jamil Chaudri
    Apr 17, 2017 - 7:30AM

    Kamal Ataturk was the Founder ofthe Turkish Republic; Erdgoan is the Savior. Long Live the Turkish Republic. Recommend

  • Jamil Chaudri
    Apr 17, 2017 - 9:08PM

    Muslim Countries DO NOT NEED western democracy. Western Democracy has become an instrument of, and for, the POWERFUL to exploit the WEAK, for the RICH to exploit the POOR.
    Through colonialism, the Muslim NATION has been SPLIT into smaller units so that the POWERFUL and the RICH (Europe, America, Japan, etc) can suck the blood of the WEAK and POOR Muslim people.
    .
    Russia did not become powerful with western democracy; China did not become powerful with western democracy.
    .
    America and Europe want to SEDUCE Muslim pseudo-intelligentsia with siren calls of DEMOCRACY, which does not even satisfy their own populations, because they do not want Muslims to become rich and powerful.
    .
    Wake up and smell the COFFEE. Coffee is indigenous to Yemen and Asir. Coffee Arabica is the real McCoy.
    .
    Once the Muslim Nation is Strong, Muslim concepts of Governance will prevail. Who need Western Democracy? Once the western nations realise that with their concept of democracy they cannot pull wool over the eyes of the Muslim people, they too will abandon it in hordes.Recommend

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