24 hours after spontaneous celebrations on the streets of Turkey - reflecting the majority vote for political reform - the reaction has been global.
Turkey awoke on Monday to backing from the European Union. A statement said the 58 percent “Yes“ vote was a “step in the right direction” in the country’s bid to join the bloc. President Obama in another statement added his backing.
And on the streets of Istanbul there was delight as one resident, Firat Dincer, explained: “I expect good things to happen. Good things to happen for our elderly, for the workers and for our future. All I can do is hope for the best.”
42 percent voted “No”, creating fears of a deepening of the divide between the ruling AK party which has its roots in political Islam and the secularists.
Ali Osman who lives in Ankara expressed his fears.
“I don’t think this will be good, we are heading towards dictatorship and I fear for the future,” he said.
The German foreign minister backed the 26 reforms which rewrite a charter first drawn up when the generals held sway after a military coup in 1980.
“We welcome the outcome of the constitutional referendum in Turkey. This is a sign that Turkey is fully determined to continue its internal reform process and it also shows that Turkey’s view is directed at Europe,” said Guido Westerwelle.
The result has sparked a number of applications by rights groups to prosecute the leaders of the 1980 coup who were stripped of immunity by one of the changes in the reform package.
Turkish vote wins European backing