Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Crucial Referendum On Strengthening The Powers Of President Erdogan In Turkey

Turks cast their ballots Sunday in a historic referendum on constitutional amendments aimed at strengthening the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, could change the shape of the political system in the country and redefine relations with the West.

And invited about 55.3 million voters to cast their ballots until 1300 GMT. The time in eastern Turkey, and until 1400 GMT in the rest of the country, in a popular referendum on the cancellation as prime minister in favor of the prime focus of his hands and broad powers.

Erdogan said that the referendum on the expansion of presidential powers is a vote for the future of Turkey. He said after he cast his vote in the Asian part of Istanbul "will advance our nation, God willing, here and abroad towards the future, this evening, doing option expected."

He stressed that the referendum results are likely to be close, not voting process "normal", but aims to "change the regime," he said. "I am convinced that our people will choose to open the way for faster development, a real leap forward."

He continued, "We make a choice is unusual to live up to the level of contemporary civilization, which wanted Mustafa Kemal" Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

If he wins supporters of the amendments will enjoy Erdogan, who survived an attempted coup nine months ago, very enhanced powers and can theoretically remain president until 2029. The president's 63-year-old served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014 before being elected president.

Polling stations opened their doors at the fourth GMT in Diyarbakir and other cities in eastern Turkey and five in the west of the country, especially in Istanbul and Ankara.

Said Turkish Prime Minister Ben Ali Yildirim after a voice in the city of Izmir (western) that "the rule of the people will be respected," Whatever the outcome of the ballot.

He said MRA Arlinckaya told AFP in one of the voting centers in Istanbul, "Certainly I will vote for the president I support. If we are what we are today this is thanks to him."

For his part, he said the leader of the largest opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Keli_dar Davutoglu "Today shows the fate of Turkey for a vote. Every citizen to go to the polling stations and vote responsibly."
It was said at a rally near the capital Saturday, "Do you want Turkey to continue parliamentary or own democracy transition to the rule, however, one man system?". The sub-system that Erdogan wants authorities to "bus without brakes does not know the destination."

Hunger did not hesitate to military Syncom retired after criticism voted against the constitutional amendments in one of Ankara's schools.

"I am against this government because I know the vision of the world. Reforms took place between 2002 and 2004, and they told us that Turkey will join the European Union and will end terrorism, but something did not happen from this."

Significant changes

The government stresses that this amendment is essential to ensure the stability of the country and face security and economic challenges. But the opposition sees the wildest to tyranny by a man accused by Ba┼čkan every vote critic, especially since the coup attempt on July 15.

Erdogan said in particular that Turkey's candidacy to join the European Union frozen years ago will be put again after this referendum. The debate was launched again on the return of the death penalty, which opposes the European Commission.

A report signed by Sinan Ekem and Kamal Kyryca of the "Brookings Institute," the center said that if it approved the text "will lead to a larger process of restructuring in the 94-year history of Turkish politics and the system of governance."

And denounced the opposition in recent weeks, an unfair campaign with a clear dominance of supporters of Erdogan in the streets and the media.
n the other hand, Turkey is subject to a state of emergency since the failed coup. Which it was stopped 47 thousand people discharged or stopped by the hundred thousand others.

Peoples Democratic Party was forced to do, especially campaigning with one key deputy in parliament, has been in prison on charges of links with the PKK.

The attention is focused on the initial assessment of the international observer mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe issued Monday.

On the other hand, three people were killed in an exchange of fire in the garden of a school used a polling station in the southeast of Diyarbakir, according to the agency Dogan news agency said, adding that it is still unknown whether his motives related to the referendum or other than a family.

Tight security

The campaign has seen some disorders of the ruling Justice and Development, which supports Islamic conservative with the Nationalist Action Party, this project. This alliance is necessary but it is fragile, as the nationalists are divided on the constitutional amendment.

The president was forced Friday to reassure his allies after the nationalist Nationalist Action Party leader Devlet Bahceli accused an adviser to Erdogan, he declared that federalism is a possibility after the referendum. The Turkish president said, "There is nothing like that."

National Labor Party opposes any form of federal grants forms some sort of autonomy in the Kurdish areas of southeastern Turkey.

The media reported that all Turkish advisers and ministers of the Justice and Development Party had to cancel all their entries television in the final hours of the campaign to avoid committing any gag.

Security is a big bet in the referendum after an unprecedented series of attacks in recent months has been loaded responsibility to the organization of the Islamic state and Kurdish fighters. The authorities deployed about 380 thousand policemen around the country to ensure the proper functioning of the ballot.

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