Turkish President rejects regime shift after referendum on constitutional amendments

Posted April 15, 2017

Turks will vote on Sunday on changing the country's political system and giving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers.

In 2006, Erdogan began to talk about the need for Turkey to move from a parliamentary system to an "American-like" presidential one.

The outcome will have repercussions beyond Turkish shores.

TRT World's Hasan Abdullah reports on campaigning in Ankara.

The campaign has split the country of 80 million down the middle, its divisions spilling over to the large Turkish diaspora in Europe.

This belligerence has resonated with the conservative Muslims who feel alienated from the West and resentful of the growing Islamophobia that they see there.

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He said the debates on regime change ended in the country after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established a modern Turkey as a republic. "'Yes" has gone up considerably, while "No' has gone down", he said.

"The biggest quality of the Chief is that he touches people". It's faultless. But I am anxious about the future after him. He's not doing that for politics.

TRT World's Andrew Hopkins reports from Izmir. It won 11.9 percent of the vote in the last election in 2015. "He will be the president of only half of the country", she said.

It also alleged that Ankara's senior officials, including Erdogan himself and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, equated "no" campaigners with the mid-July 2016 failed coup plotters or terrorist organizations, noting that the referendum would be conducted under an extended state of emergency imposed following the attempted putsch.

Two opinion polls on Thursday showed a narrow majority of voters would vote in favor of the changes. The election process for Turkish citizens living overseas ended on April 9. It would not be surprising if this population, which has consistently handed Erdogan electoral victories in parliamentary and presidential elections, delivers him a "yes" in Sunday's constitutional referendum. Parliament approved the amendments in late January with 339 votes from the AKP-MHP alliance while the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) stood against government system adjustment. "Who will follow him?" The main opposition party has recorded more than 100 incidents of obstruction to their campaign efforts, including threats, beatings and arbitrary detentions.

"Eighty percent of voters in Turkey vote according to ideology". Turkey is heading to a contentious April 16 referendum on constitutional refo.