‘Yes’: Turkey Votes To Vastly Expand President’s Powers

The historic referendum gives President Erdogan the potential to stay in power until 2029

Turkish President Erdogan greets his supporters on April 16. — REUTERS
Apr 16, 2017 at 1:49 PM ET

Turkish voters said ‘Yes’ in a historic referendum widely expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers on Sunday.

The referendum vote grants Erdogan sweeping new powers, including the ability to appoint senior judges, issue decrees, and order a state of emergency, among others. The referendum also eliminates the post of prime minister, which Erdogan held until 2014. That year he became president, which until then was a largely ceremonial role. Now, thanks to the results of today’s referendum, Erdogan may potentially remain in power until 2029.

Voters casting their vote inside of Turkey voted yes by a margin of 2.44%, while those voting outside of the country chose yes 58.99% to 41.01%. In total, Yes won 51.32% of the vote. Voting hit some snags through the day, as allegations of irregularities in several polling stations around the country caused an outcry online.

Social media trends over the past week indicated that a yes vote was more popular online, though by a much larger margin than was seen in the final results.

Some 55 million Turks were eligible to vote in today’s referendum, across 167,000 polling stations spread out around the country.