Analysis 12 Apr 17

Turkey Braces for Vote on Boosting President’s Power

People in Turkey are about to vote in a crucial referendum on whether to grant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more powers, which would transform the domestic political situation and have global consequences.

Ankara, Istanbul and Sarajevo
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he addresses his supporters during a referendum rally in Sanliurfa, Turkey. Photo: Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Press Service/Pool Photo via AP

Turkey's upcoming referendum is being seen as one of the most important global developments of this year although its outcome is unpredictable, as all recent public opinion polls have been inconclusive.

In the referendum on Sunday, April 16, people will vote on whether the already powerful mandate of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be further strengthened or not.

Erdogan's victory in the referendum is likely to result in the continuation if not the strengthening of his government's oppressive measures in the country, and probably the further radicalisation of Turkey's relations with the EU and NATO.

A defeat however could seriously undermine Erdogan and increase internal and external pressure on him to resign or at least call early elections.

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