Turkey has made a historic decision in backing an executive presidential system, President Tayyip Erdogan said, adding that the “Yes” camp had secured 25 million votes in Sunday’s referendum while 1.3 million said no to the referendum.
“Turkey for the first time in its history has decided with the will of the parliament and its people on such an important change. For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics. That is why it is very significant,” Erdogan said.
State-run media reported a narrow 51% lead for the ‘Yes’ camp amid record- high turnout.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, whose post will be eliminated under the amended constitution, said ““I thank my citizens. Our special thanks to our great leader, Erdogan. Those who vote ‘No’ are also precious. I greet them all. We are Turkey. We are together. No one should have a broken heart. No one lost. Turkey won.”
Turkey’s main opposition party vowed to challenge the results, saying they were skewed.
Sunday’s vote approved 18 constitutional changes that will replace parliamentary system of government with a presidential one, abolishing the office of the prime minister and granting sweeping executive powers to the president. The changes will come into effect with the next general election, scheduled for 2019, CBS News reported.