Turkish President Recep Erdogan has declared victory in the referendum on the constitutional reform package and congratulated the heads of political parties that supported the Yes campaign.
Erdogan called the ‘yes’ vote a historic decision by the Turkish people and said that the decision will benefit the country.
“Turkey for the first time in its history has decided with the will of the parliament and its people on such an important change. For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics. That is why it is very significant,” Erdogan said.
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported:
As of 9.25 p.m. (1825GMT), unofficial results showed Yes with 51.34 percent — 24,789,242 votes — while No had 48.66 percent, or 23,499,390 votes. Sunday’s referendum asked voters to choose Yes or No on an 18-article bill that would see the country switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, among other changes.
However, the situation is not so “clear” for the Turkish president.
“Despite the “yes” vote so far leading in total, the support for constitutional amendments was far from overwhelming in some regions of the country.
Less than 33 percent supported the expansion of Erdogan’s powers in the mainly Kurdish province of Diyarbakır, with the “no” vote standing at 67 percent, Anadolu agency reported after 90 percent of the ballots were counted. Similar moods were reported in the Izmir province.
The “no” vote is leading in the Turkish capital, Ankara, where 51.6 percent rejected constitutional amendments after 80 percent of the ballot counted, according to CNN Turk. Istanbul also looks to have rejected the reform,” the Russian state-run media outlet RT reported.