Turkey set to vote for historic referendum on presidential powers

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On Sunday, Turkish citizens will vote in a referendum to decide if the country should change its constitution and give more power to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

CGTN’s Natalie Carney reports. 

Turkey set to vote for historic referendum on presidential powers

On Sunday, Turkish citizens will vote in a referendum to decide if the country should change its constitution and give more power to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Turkish government has proposed 18 constitutional changes that included enabling the president to appoint ministers, top state and judicial officials, dissolve the parliament and declare emergency rule. 

The proposal arrived amid increasing terrorist attacks in the country and a disintegration of relations with neighbors. The deteriorating situation has taken Turkey from the world’s second most robust economy to now looking “beaten and bruised,” one analyst said.  

“We had been in trouble because of the loopholes in the governmental system not twice but maybe 22 times. There is no point in insisting on the current system,” Erdogan said. 

Turkey’s current constitution was produced in 1982 by a committee dominated by Turkey’s military. Proponents of the changes argued the reforms are needed to meet the rising challenges facing the country. Nevertheless, opponents accuse Ergodan as being the creators of the problems. 

“There was economic growth in early 2000s. In the last few years, what we see, is that the tide has changed. The current government thinks the solution to instability lies in monopolizing more power and turning more authoritarian through democratic means,” political analyst Ozan Seker said. “The No camps argument here is look, the world has changed and we have to change with it. Moving away from this extremely nationalist, Islamist, local ideology – they see it as the source of instability in this globalized world.”

Fifty eight million Turkish citizens are registered to vote in Sunday’s referendum.