Turkey referendum gives sweeping powers to president

By Lauren AguirreApril 18, 2017


1. Turkey's citizens voted in a national referendum to grant their president sweeping powers that could bring an end to democracy in the country. Voters cast ballots on an 18-article constitutional reform package that would change Turkey's parliamentary system into a powerful executive presidency. Under the new constitution, the position of prime minister would disappear, to be replaced by several vice presidents. The Turkish president would become the head executive and the head of state. And, most notably, the president alone will be able to declare a state of emergency and dismiss parliament. 

2. The referendum passed with 51.4 percent of the vote. Turkey's current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party have argued that the new constitution streamlines decision-making and avoids unwieldy parliamentary coalitions. They have argued that the current parliamentary system has been holding Turkey back. Citizens who voted in favor of the changes say they believe Turkey's future would be safer and more prosperous with President Erdogan and his new powers.

3. So, is the referendum granting too much power to Turkey's president?

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