Celebrations on the streets of Turkey reflected the majority poll in the country’s referendum for political reform. The 58 percent “Yes” vote has won backing in Europe and the USA.
The European Union said the vote was a “step in the right direction” in Turkey’s bid to join the bloc.
President Obama called the Prime Minister to congratulate him. And Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan appealed to all parties to back the reforms. “We would like to call on all political circles in Turkey to join forces with us and contribute to a new vision of democracy for our country,” he said.
42 per cent voted, ‘no’ in the referendum and many analysts believe the result will lead to a deepening of the divide between the ruling AKP party which has its roots in political Islam and the secularists.
“It will not calm down, certainly, because for a long time there has been a polarisation in Turkey and the referendum results are just showing that this polarisation is still there and it will continue,” explained political analyst Ayse Karabat.
The outcome boosts the the ruling party’s hopes of a third successive poll victory in a parliamentary election set for next July.
Many of the reforms approved in the plebiscite are seen as uncontroversial but changes to the way senior judges are selected has raised concerns that the judiciary will lose its independence.
Europe and US back Turkish reform vote