Turks are deeply polarized over the referendum, and many of Erdogan’s political opponents worry about reprisal if they were to speak out against reforms.
Now the president must be impartial and without party favour, although opponents have accused Erdogan of blatantly flouting this.
On Saturday, the Turkish people will vote on a series of constitutional amendments that would all but establish Erdogan as the supreme leader – à laIran – of Turkey. “Will you be there Istanbul?” he added, as the crowd roared back Yes!”. “Some people tell us they tell people around them they will vote yes but say they will vote “No” in the ballot box”.
For the faithful who thronged the vast Yenikapi square for the rally, the referendum will be a chance to send multiple signals: “Yes” to strongman leadership, “Yes” to the fight against Kurdish militants, “Yes” to confrontation with Europe. “You came out more ill than when you went in”, she sighed. “What happens after the referendum will actually have medium-term implications on Turkey and we think that after a short and quick market reaction to the referendum outcome, market players will focus on the aftermath”, Ozgur Altug, chief economist at BGC Partners said in a note to clients.
If the president were accused or suspected of a crime, parliament will be able to request an investigation with a simple majority, and send the investigation to the Constitutional Court with a vote of two-thirds. “Some prominent countries of the West are trying to give us a hard time by supporting the terror organization”, Erdogan said. A narrow loss would see Erdogan, whose position as Turkey’s most popular politician is uncontested, remain in office. They support his ambition to turn Turkey into one of the world’s top powers by 2023, when the country marks its centenary. It’s Erdogan who built this country with its roads, bridges and tunnels.
Speaking during a rally in eastern Erzurum province on Wednesday, Erdoğan said, “After April 16, with God’s permission, a bill will be brought to Parliament”.
Yesterday, the Turkish Culture Ministry said it will build a new museum outside Ankara to remember the defeat of the failed July 15 coup that tried to unseat Mr Erdogan.
Erdogan’s rhetoric has been no softer than the actions of his supporters.
“Erdogan is a fascist dictator”. But where were the Nazis?
“We have no issues with the Kurds”, Erdogan said at a campaign speech in Ankara in late-March.
In November a year ago, the European Parliament suspended the accession talks with Ankara over concerns regarding human rights and the rule of law following the July 15 coup attempt against Erdogan, which Ankara claims was organized by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
“In the past 14 years, Turkey stepped into a new age”, said the 49-year-old as he and his friends fixed their nets at Rize’s harbor.
The Turkish consulate in Rotterdam said 118,322 people had cast a vote, out of 250,000 Dutch Turks who were registered, NOS reported.