BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:40 A.M.) – Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Istanbul, Monday, to decry the results of the referendum set to grant Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers.
Results announced on Sunday showed the Turkish President had 51.36 percent voting ‘Yes’ and 48.64 percent of voters choosing ‘No’, figures highly contested by Turkish opposition parties as well as international observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), who put forward allegations of electoral fraud.
The ‘Yes’ result means that the new draft constitution, approved by the Turkish parliament in January, will introduce a package of 18 constitutional amendments, paving the way for a presidential system of government.
Turkey’s main opposition parties, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), were opposed to the reforms, arguing that they would significantly increase Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power. The incumbent could potentially remain in his role until 2029.