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Turkish President Erdogan Kicks off Campaign for a ‘Yes’ Vote At the April 16 Referendum | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during his meeting with mukhtars at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, November 26, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched on Friday his campaign to win a ‘yes’ vote at the April 16 referendum on expanding his powers.

He kicked off the campaign, after having returned from a tour of Gulf countries, in the eastern city of Kahramanmaras, one of the areas that gave him the most votes in the 2014 presidential polls.

“We are on the threshold of a historic decision,” Erdogan told thousands of supporters in Kahramanmaras in a televised speech.

“April 16 will be the night of carrying out reform in Turkey,” he added.

Erdogan says that the new system can clearly delineate between the executive and the legislature, so that “everyone can concentrate on their own business”.

He explained that the new system would mean there would be no return to the “old Turkey” of short-lived coalition governments, which, he said, sometimes lasted just 25 days and had an average survival rate of 16 months.

“My friends, that Turkey is finished,” he said.