This is crazy! Turkey voted ‘yes’ on Apr. 16 in their referendum to grant the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more executive powers! We’ve gathered up everything you need to know about this historic moment here!
The Turkish people took their future into their own hands on Sunday, Apr. 16 in major referendum. The country voted “yes” to a new draft of their constitution that would grant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 63, more executive powers. The race was tight and heated until the very end, much like Brexit, when campaigning stopped on Saturday, Apr. 16 at 6 p.m. Opposition parties are contesting the preliminary results as President Erdogan claimed victory, according to The Washington Post.
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) April 16, 2017
The essential question for the Turkish people in the referendum was: did they want to be remain parliamentary republic or become a presidential one? Those in favor of the change, like President Erdogan, argued that it would be a step toward modernizing Turkey. People who opposed the vote worried that the President would have too much power because several other changes to the constitution involved his position. They worried it could lead toward a dictatorship!
The new powers the president would be given under the referendum included the ability to appoint officials himself. He could also appoint one or multiple vice presidents. The president would have new powerful influence on the judiciary system and could decide when to impose a state of emergency, as reported by the BBC.
President Erdogan has been in power in Turkey since he became prime minister in 2003 before he became president in 2014. The new draft of the constitution would get rid of the position of prime minister entirely! President Erdogan has blamed those against the referendum of siding with the people who attempted a military coup against the government last year. “Sunday will be a turning point in our struggle against terrorism,” he said in a campaign speech.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of the final vote? Share your thoughts about Turkey’s decision in the comments below!