Turkey backs constitutional reform

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Turkey backs constitutional reform

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Turkish voters have approved constitutional reforms in a crucial referendum. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country had passed an historic threshold.

With nearly all the ballots counted, 58.1 per cent of voters have backed the changes. Some 41.9 per cent said ‘no.’

The turnout was more than 77 per cent.

Erdogan has said the amendments are needed to strengthen democracy and bring the EU candidate country closer to European norms.

But critics claim it is all about the ruling AK Party increasing its powers, notably over the judiciary. The secular establishment accuses Erdogan of harbouring Islamist ambitions, something he denies.