Time: 7:41 p.m. CEST
Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan announced the victory of ‘yes’ campaign on referendum in Turkey that would change the system of ruling in the Republic. As Turkish media report, Erdogan said this is historic decision, not ordinary event. Erdogan explained, the nation showed free will.
Turkish Prime minister Binali Yildrim delivered a speech at 9:00 p.m. as the ‘yes’ votes for the country’s key referendum that should introduce executive presidency are ahead of the ‘no’ votes, Hurryiet Daily News on English reports.
Parties that supported ‘no’ campaign contested the result, requesting recounts of hundreds of thousands of ballots.
“The country voted and said yes,” Yildrim said.
Earlier, the Supreme Election Board said it would acknowledge “unsealed ballot,” Hurryiet Daily News writes. All polls closed at 5:00 p.m. local time across Turkey, where during the day more than 55,3 million Turks could cast their votes in the referendum.
As Hyrriet Daily News reports, if the ‘yes’ votes prevail, the changes in the Constitution would change the system in the country from parliamentarian to presidential. The modifications would be through 18 constitutional changes, introducing executive powers to the president. Current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan endorsed the ‘yes’ campaign. His Justice and Development Party and the leadership of the Nationalist Movement Party support changes that means even abolishment of the office of prime minister.
Hurryiet Daily News said the main opposition Republican People’s Party and the opposition People’s Democratic Party were supporting ‘no’ campaign. Erdogan cast his vote in Istanbul and said, “This referendum is not an ordinary voting. We had plenty of elections aimed at the parliamentary system in the history of the Republic. We had some referendums, but this one is to decide whether to change the governance system.”
Turkey is member of NATO and longest candidate member for the European Union membership.