The constitutional referendum – another step towards a New Turkey

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Series Details No.239 (28.04.17)
Publication Date 28/04/2017
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On 16 April the citizens of Turkey voted in a national referendum to amend the constitution. This will lead to a radical strengthening of the president’s power. 51.4% of the voters backed the amendments. They will come into force after the next presidential and parliamentary election (scheduled for 2019). The amendments are an important step in the thorough reconstruction of the Republic of Turkey which began in 2002. They will strengthen the position of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in legal terms, and – with all the controversies that entails – will adjust the legal status to the situation on the ground.

The outcome of the referendum helps to temporarily stabilise the internal situation in Turkey and allows the country to be more active on the international arena; this includes making another attempt to thoroughly revise its relations with the EU. However, the amendment of the constitution is of a technical nature and is a means rather than an end in the process of building a New Turkey. Thus the calming of the situation in Turkey is temporary.

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ESO: Background information:A small yes for presidentialism: the Turkish constitutional referendum of April 2017 (South European Society and Politics, September 2017)

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