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Turkey referendum: Polls give narrow lead for 'yes'

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By Euronews
Turkey referendum: Polls give narrow lead for 'yes'

<p>There are just two days to go until Turkey goes to the polls in a referendum that could give sweeping new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.</p> <p>He wants to replace Turkey’s parliamentary system with an executive presidency.</p> <p>It would mark the biggest change in Turkey’s political system in the nation’s modern history.</p> <p>After a close fought race, new opinion polls suggest a narrow majority of those in the country are ready to back Erdogan and say ‘yes’ to the constitutional change.</p> <p>Yet as one pollster explains, undecided voters could hold the key.</p> <p>“When we put them equally in the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ camps, we see ‘Yes’ ahead at 51.3 percent,” said Murat Gezici, head of the Gezici Research Agency. </p> <p>“But as part of our margin of error, if we group the undecided voters with those who choose to abstain, we see the ‘No’ vote leading.”</p> <p>Just as the campaign has split Turkey down the middle, its divisions have spilled over to the large Turkish diaspora in Europe. More than 1 million expatriate votes have reportedly arrived in Ankara, ready to be counted.</p> <br /> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">1.3 million referendum votes from abroad arrived in Ankara <a href="https://t.co/WJSAXXardR">https://t.co/WJSAXXardR</a> <a href="https://t.co/GnbQoFgY4i">pic.twitter.com/GnbQoFgY4i</a></p>— Hürriyet Daily News (@HDNER) <a href="https://twitter.com/HDNER/status/852521767591694336">13 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <br /> <p>President Erdogan has accused European leaders of acting like Nazis for banning rallies on security grounds, while his opponents overseas say they have been spied on.</p> <p>Erdogan and his supporters argue that strengthening the presidency would avert instability associated with coalition governments, at a time when Turkey faces major security threats from Islamist and Kurdish militants.</p> <p>He told a rally in the northern province of Ordu on Thursday that a ‘yes’ vote in Sunday’s referendum was needed to fight terrorism more efficiently.</p> <br /> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="ro" dir="ltr">Erdoğan asks for ‘Yes’ vote in charter referendum to 'fight terrorism' <a href="https://t.co/uIthvyypCt">https://t.co/uIthvyypCt</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZAeCy4dhpN">pic.twitter.com/ZAeCy4dhpN</a></p>— Hürriyet Daily News (@HDNER) <a href="https://twitter.com/HDNER/status/852524937067859970">13 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <br /> <p>But Erdogan’s critics fear a further drift into authoritarianism under a leader they regard as bent on eroding modern Turkey’s democracy and secular foundations. </p> <br /> <p><em>with Reuters</em></p>