Turkey – Referendum

A constitutional referendum was held in Turkey on Sunday. There was a single vote on a large number of changes. The referendum was held because parliament failed to generate a two-thirds majority in favour of the various reforms. There is a nice article in Wikipedia about the parliamentary vote.

The majority of the reforms concerned the judicial process. There is a brief resume of the changes here. The English version of the changes is available in full here.

The referendum was passed. The Turkish Electoral Commission is reporting the following result:

Yes: 57.88%
No: 42.12%
Turnout: 73.71%

The interpretation of the result is interesting. The EU has welcomed the result, saying that the reforms helped the country’s application for membership. However, the reforms were opposed by the opposition to the ruling AKP party, arguing that they would strengthen the party’s hold over power.

None of the reforms related directly to the country’s semi-presidential constitution, but the fact that the AKP in effect ‘won’ the referendum means that the semi-presidential system is unlikely to be reformed again at least for the time being. Indeed, given the result is seen as an AKP victory, the likelihood is that the first direct presidential election will go ahead as planned probably in 2012.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *