(By Zulal Atalay in Istanbul ) President Erdogan mandate in referendum declared valid by the electoral commission which grants him new powers. Dr Shahid Qureshi a senior British Journalist said: “If USA has a President That’s Democracy. If Turkey has President – That is Dictatorship? How can that be a justified criticism? He said: “On 24 April 1924 Mustafa Kamal Ataturk got 110 votes while his opponent got 109 votes”.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s push for an executive presidency succeeded with just over 51% of the vote. The win was met with both celebrations and protests across Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Decision made by the Turkish public is a historic moment”
Meanwhile, flag-waving supporters of Mr Erdogan celebrated as their president praised them for their “historic decision” that could keep him in office until 2029.
With 99.97% of ballots counted, the Yes campaign had won 51.41% of the votes cast, while No had taken 48.59%. Turnout was said to be as high as 85%.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said there would be no early elections following the result.
The parliamentary vote would be held as scheduled in 2019, Mr Simsek told Reuters news agency.
Responding to Sunday’s result, the European Commission issued a statement saying it was awaiting the assessment of international observers. It urged Mr Erdogan to respect the closeness of the vote and to “seek the broadest possible national consensus” when considering the far-reaching implications of the constitutional amendments.
What’s in the new constitution?
The draft states that the next presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on 3 November 2019.
The president will have a five-year tenure, for a maximum of two terms.
The president will be able to directly appoint top public officials, including ministers
He will also be able to assign one or several vice-presidents
The job of prime minister, currently held by Binali Yildirim, will be scrapped
The president will have power to intervene in the judiciary, which Mr Erdogan has accused of being influenced by Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based preacher he blames for the failed coup in July
The president will decide whether or not impose a state of emergency
Mr Erdogan says the changes are needed to address Turkey’s security challenges nine months after an attempted coup, and to avoid the fragile coalition governments of the past.
The new system, he argues, will resemble those in France and the US and will bring calm in a time of turmoil marked by a Kurdish insurgency, Islamist militancy and conflict in neighbouring Syria, which has led to a huge refugee influx.
They say his ability to retain ties to a political party – Mr Erdogan could resume leadership of the AKP he co-founded – will end any chance of impartiality. (source: BBC)