Ankara – Turks voted on Sunday in favor of the constitutional amendments proposed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – these amendments would change the country’s regime from a parliamentary to a presidential one.
More than 51% voted “yes” for the amendments while 48% voted against them and in this way the dream of Erdogan to expand his powers was achieved and the way is paved for him to remain a president until 2029. However, this is viewed by opposing parties as a nightmare.
This referendum was controversial by which the Turkish opposition – represented in the Republican People’s Party and the Peoples’ Democratic Party – rejected the batch of amendments composed of 18 items while the Nationalist Movement Party approved it.
Turnover exceeded 80% with 53.561 million people voting in 176,140 ballot boxes in addition to 461 voting boxes for prisoners.
Surprisingly, around 67% in Netherlands, 62% in Germany, 80% in Belgium, 59% in France and 71% in Austria voted in favor of Erdogan’s proposal while 85% of Turks in America voted against it.
Results were highly close to those of the latest polls before the referendum that have shown a slight difference in favor of the amendments’ backers.
Istanbul, considered one of the electoral strongholds of the Justice and Development Party, did not witness a majority’s vote in favor of the party – also in Ankara 50.3% voted a “no”.
Opposing parties said that this referendum is a step towards additional tyranny in a country where more than 47,000 were imprisoned and more than 140,000 were dismissed during a campaign post the failed coup in July, leading to criticizing Turkey by its allies in the West and the international rights organization.
On the contrary, backers of the constitutional amendments considered that moving to the presidential regime will consolidate Turkey’s position globally, increase investments, strengthen economy and attract more foreign capitals to the country.