Turkey's President Wins Sweeping Powers in Cliffhanger Vote

MIN READApr 16, 2017 | 19:12 GMT

The April 16 referendum vote is a culmination of a yearslong effort by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to formalize some of the powers he had already encroached upon.

(OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

In an apparent cliffhanger victory, with challenges from the opposition still outstanding, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President (and now party leader) Recep Tayyip Erdogan are claiming a hairline victory in a decisive referendum that will greatly empower the presidency. Some 48 million of 55 million eligible voters cast ballots on a raft of 18 constitutional amendments that will fundamentally alter the Turkish government, taking effect in the next scheduled election in 2019. With nearly all votes counted, the "Yes" vote garnered 51.34 percent of the vote with the "No" vote coming in close behind with 48.66 percent of the vote, according to state-run Anadolu Agency. Though the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is still not conceding the vote and is contesting at least 37 percent of the votes counted, the AKP is claiming victory. Still, the poll has shown just how deeply polarized the Turkish...

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