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Turkey counts down to constitutional referendum

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Turkey counts down to constitutional referendum


Preparations are underway in Turkey for Sunday’s referendum on the constitution which could change the face of the country.

Polls show the vote is too close to call, reflecting stark divisions.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has campaigned across the country, reminding Turks of the role the military has played in politics. It has toppled four democratically-elected governments since 1960.

“I am going to vote ‘yes’”, said one man,“to extend human rights and bring us in line with EU reforms. But most of all, I want to vote for a judicial system our country can rely on.” But another woman added: “Lots of people think the proposals don’t go far enough. If they really want to change the constitution then they should do it 100%. This has turned into the Prime Minister’s own constitution, they are writing their own rules.”

A “no” vote in the referendum is likely to galvanise the already-resurgent secular opposition.

It could also prove an opportunity for the new leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party or CHP. Kemal Kilicdaroglu has injected new life into the party founded by Ataturk, but which has not tasted power for decades.

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