Turkey referendum: Erdogan’s AK Party claims victory

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Turkey’s leaders claimed victory for the “Yes” campaign in the referendum to amend the country’s constitution and grant the presidential office new executive powers. The changes voted for on Sunday transform Turkey’s governance from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency, significantly expanding the powers of the top office.

“I pray the outcome will bring auspiciousness to our country,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a news conference in Istanbul. “The president will serve the country bearing in mind one nation, one flag, one state… The referendum is over and the debate prior to that is over.”

As of 20:00GMT on Sunday, the “Yes” campaign was leading with 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent with 99 percent of votes counted. The changes were backed by the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party), founded by Erdogan, and the leadership of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), whose parliamentary support was vital to take the amendments to a public vote. “We are all brothers and sisters in a single body standing against traitors,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, speaking at the AK Party’s headquarters to cheering supporters…

Read more : Aljazeera, 17.04.2017