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Turks head to the polls for crucial referendum

Sunday, April 16, 2017 - 01:19

President Erdogan casts his vote alongside millions of Turkish people in a referendum which could change the face of politics in the country. Saskia O'Donoghue reports

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The Turkish president casts his vote... in an election which could change the face of politics in the country. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking to replace Turkey's current political state with an all-powerful presidency. The latest opinion polls give a narrow lead for a "Yes" vote - which could see Erdogan able to stay in office until at least 2029. Erdogan and those voting 'yes' say the changes are needed to amend the current constitution and to overcome the security and political challenges Turkey faces. Opponents say a 'yes' vote would be dangerous for the country... in the wake of a crackdown by Erdogan which has seen some 47,000 people have been jailed and 120,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs following a failed coup last July. Despite the move drawing criticism from Turkey's Western allies, Erdogan has implied that he'll continue the purge if the referendum falls in his favour. If he is successful, Turkey would be forced to abolish the office of prime minister and the new executive president would be able to draft the budget - and declare a state of emergency. If the 'yes'-predicting pollsters are right or wrong, Turkey is at a crossroads - and it may well remain at it for some time to come.

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Turks head to the polls for crucial referendum

Sunday, April 16, 2017 - 01:19