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turkish constitutional referendum

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s push for an executive presidency succeeded with just 51.4% of the referendum vote.

His win was met with both celebrations and protests across Turkey.

The main opposition party – the Republican People’s Party (CHP) – has said it will challenge the Turkey’s referendum result after Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a vote to expand his powers.

It has questioned the legitimacy of the close result, citing irregularities in the electoral process.

The CHP is refusing to accept the Yes victory and is demanding a recount of 60% of the votes, criticizing a decision to pass unstamped ballot papers as valid unless proven otherwise.

Three of Turkey’s biggest cities – Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir – all voted No to the constitutional changes.

Opposition supporters took to the streets of Istanbul to bang pots and pans – a traditional form of protest – in a series of noisy demonstrations.

Meanwhile, flag-waving supporters of President Erdogan celebrated as their leader praised them for their “historic decision” that could keep him in office until 2029.

Image source Wikipedia

With 99.97% of ballots counted, the Yes campaign had won 51.41% of the votes cast, while No had taken 48.59%. Turnout was said to be as high as 85%.

Separately, three people were shot dead near a polling station in the south-eastern province of Diyarbakir, reportedly during a dispute over how they were voting.

Responding to the referendum’s result, the European Commission issued a statement urging President Erdogan to respect the closeness of the vote and to “seek the broadest possible national consensus” when considering the far-reaching implications of the constitutional amendments.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters at his official Istanbul residence, the Huber Palace: “Today… Turkey has taken a historic decision.

“With the people, we have realized the most important reform in our history.”

He called on everyone to respect the outcome of the vote.

President Erdogan also said Turkey could hold a referendum on bringing back the death penalty – a move that would end the country’s EU negotiations.

Turkey Referendum Result: Recep Tayyip Erdogan Wins Vote to Expand His Powers