Barely three months after a general election, voters in Turkey are again being called to make a decision, this time over how to elect their President. The issue is whether the post should be decided by parliament or by the people. The Islamic-oriented government proposed a popular vote, but the staunchly-secular outgoing head of state Ahmed Sezer vetoed the idea.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his would-be President Abdullah Gul then insisted a referendum would make the decision. If a simple majority say yes, then all Presidents after Gul will be elected directly by the people.
But there’s less-than-expected enthusiasm for the vote, with most attention focused on possible military action against Kurdish rebels in Iraq.