LIVE: Turkey votes on whether to expand president's powers

#TurkeyChooses

MEE reports on the latest updates from Turkey's vote on an executive presidential system

Arwa Ibrahim's picture
Last update: 
July 22 Jul 2017 14:55 UTC
Topics: 
  •  Turkey is voting on an 18-article constitutional amendments package which would grant the president vast executive powers 
  • A simple 50 percent plus 1 vote of all votes cast is required to change the existing parliamentary system to an executive presidency
  • More than 55 million people out of the country's nearly 80 million population are eligible to vote
  • A total of 167,601 polling stations have been set up across the country
  • Voting abroad was completed last week, with 1.3 million people voting

Turkey endorses super presidency with 'Yes' camp winning by 51.2%

Turkey voted 51.2% in favour of an 18-article constitutional amendments package that will vastly expand the powers of the president. 

The Supreme Election Board (YSK), the body in charge of overseeing all elections and referenda, has not released official results yet.  



Supporters of the constitutional amendments celebrate victory on 16 April (AFP)

 

Erdogan delivers victory speech



A supporter of the 'Yes' campaign brandishes a picture of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AFP)

"Our nation acted in maturity and went to the polls today. According to unofficial results, 25 mn people voted in favour of the constitutional change. I thank everyone who voted regardless of the colour of their vote. This is a historic decision where people voted for their future. This administrative reform might just be 18 articles but its contents means it is deep-rooted". 

- President Erdogan 

PM Yildirim delivers victory speech after 99% of votes counted

Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim delivered a victory speech from the balcony of the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) headquarters in Ankara. 

“Those who haven’t heard, hear; those who don’t know, learn we are one nation and siblings," said Yildirm to a huge crowd of supporters.
 
Unofficial results show yes has won at 51.3% with 99% of the ballot boxes opened. 
 


Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on 16 April (Reuters)
 
"I thank all citizens who turned out in numbers and made their choice,” added Yildirim.
 
“In our democratic history we have opened a new page with this vote."
 
"Thank you Turkey, thank you my dear nation. A special thanks and greetings to our founding chairman and leader Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

 

'Yes' camp celebrates 'victory' despite votes still being counted

Supporters of TurKish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan have taken to the streets to celebrate the victory of the 'Yes' camp in the referendum on expanding presidential powers in Turkey. 

More than 99% of the ballot boxes have been opened, but electoral staff are still counting the votes.



A supporter of AK party celebrates at the party headquarters in Ankara on 16 April (Reuters)



A supporter of AK party celebrates at the party headquarters in Ankara (Reuters)

Erdogan supporters celebrate 'victory', opposition contests results

Supporters of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan have taken to the streets to celebrate a 'vicotry' in the referendum, despite votes still being counted.

About 51.2% of the votes are 'Yes' with more than 98% of the ballot boxes opened.

Meanwhile, opposition parties of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Preople's Democratic Party (HDP) have demanded a recount of the votes.

Opposition leaders challenged claimed that 1.5 million votes are invalid.

Turkish president Erdogan congratulates supporters

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan called prime minister Binali Yildirim and leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli to congratulate them 

Meanwhile, Erdogan's supporters have taken to the streets across Turkey to celebrate an imminent victory with 51.2% for 'Yes' with more than 99% of the ballot boxes opened. 



Supporters of Turkey's president chant slogans and wave Turkish national flags during a rally near the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on 16 April (AFP)

Erdogan camp set to win after most votes counted

Turks have backed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call for sweeping new presidential powers, partial official results of a referendum indicate.

With about 99.6% of ballot boxes opened, "Yes" was on about 51.2% and "No" on about 48.7%, according to local media.

Erdogan supporters say replacing the parliamentary system with an executive presidency would modernise the country.

Opponents have attacked a decision to accept unstamped ballot papers as valid unless proven otherwise.



Supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a rally ahead of the referendum in Istanbul on 15 April (Reuters)

Turkish main opposition demand recount of up to 60% of votes

Turkey’s main opposition party CHP, has announced they will be contesting the validity of 60% of the ballots, after unconfirmed reports of large numbers of votes without official stamps.

Main opposition party CHP contests results

"Everyone is showing vote count data from (state-run) Anadolu news agency," Bulent Tezcan, Turkish MP from the main opposition People Republican's Party (CHP) told CNN Turk live.

"Our data shows the No count to be ahead in various places, a lot more than Anadolu is reported."

"Opening the ballot boxes and counting the votes are a different matter," he added.

Meanwhile, CHP's Erdal Aksunger said: "Judges are violating the results. I call on everyone not to leave polling booths. we will contest 37 percent of the results."

'Yes' wins in Turkish referendum at 51.5% with only 2% of boxes unopened

The 'Yes' camp is set to win with 51.5 percent in favour of constitutional amendments to expand presidential powers, reported Turkish local media. 

With 98 percent of the ballot boxes now open, the 'No' votes have reached 48.5 percent nationwide. 

Turkey's 18-article constitutional amendments package

 

'No' vote leads across Turkey's major cities

The number of 'No' votes are ahead across all of Turkey's major cities including Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Diyarbakir.

'No' votes lead in Ankara with only 6% of ballot boxes unopened

'Yes' votes dip to 51.8% nationwide: Local media

According to local media, the number of 'Yes' votes has dipped to 51.8% with 92 percent of the ballot boxes now opened. 

Analysts have said that a 'No' vote in Istanbul would be a big blow to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

'No' votes move up as vote counting continues

The number of 'No' votes in Turkey's big cities including Istanbul and Izmir are ahead of the number of 'Yes' votes, reported local media. 

 

'Yes' votes down to 52.9 percent nationwide, says local media

According to Turkish local media, the number of 'Yes' votes in Turkey's referendum on expanding presidential powers has dipped to 52.9 percent nationwide. 

The number of 'No' votes has moved ahead to in Istanbul 50.3 percent, while the percentage of 'Yes' votes is at 49.7 percent. 

About 85% of the ballot boxes have been opened by electoral staff, with votes in the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) strongholds now counted. 



A man holding a 'No' poster during a campaign rally in Istanbul on 14 April (AFP)

'Yes' 61% of votes cast abroad: Local media

About 61 percent of Turkish voters living abroad voted 'Yes' in the referendum on expanding the powers of the Turkish president, reported Turkish local media on Sunday. 

No votes came in at 38.7 percent. 

Turkish expats in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Denmark cast their votes ahead of the vote in Turkey. 



'Yes' votes at 54% with two-thirds of ballot boxes opened

According to local media, the number of 'Yes' votes are at 54 percent, with about 70 percent of the ballot boxes counted so far.

The majority of the ballot counted are in Turkey's eastern region since polls closed an hour earlier in eastern and southeastern provinces. 



Supporters of president Erdogan at a pro-government rally in Istanbul on 14 April (AFP)

85.8% voter turn out nationwide, says local media

According to Turkish local media, 85.8% of the 55.3 million eligible voters cast their votes at polling stations on Sunday. 

Turnout is generally high during elections and referendums in Turkey, with an average turnout of more than 80 percent in the last nine elections.



People arrive to vote at a polling station during a referendum in the Uskudar district in Istanbul on16 April (Reuters)

 

'Yes' vote in the lead with 34% of boxes opened, says local media

According to local Turkish media, the 'Yes' vote is in the lead with about 34% of the ballot boxes, mostly in Turkey's eastern region, now opened. 



An electoral official shows a "Yes" vote as they count ballot boxes after the polls closed on 16 April (AFP)



Electoral staff counting votes after polls closed in Turkey on 16 April (AFP)

Five reasons Turks voted 'Yes' vs 'No'



About 24% boxes opened with 'Yes' vote in the lead, says local media

The 'Yes' vote is leading at 63 percent and 'No' at 36.6 percent, with about 24% of the ballot boxes opened by electoral staff, reported local media.  



An electoral staff member shows a ballot during the counting process after polls closed in Turkey's referendum on expanding the powers of the president on 16 April in Diyarbakir (AFP)

 

Nearly 12% of ballot boxes opened, says local media

Nearly 12% of the ballot boxes have been opened by electoral staff after the vote counting process began across polling stations in Turkey, local media reported. 

Voting across the country closed at 15 GMT, but those waiting in line to vote were allowed to finish voting. 



An electoral staff member shows a ballot during the counting process on 16 April in Diyarbakir (AFP)

 

Polls across Turkey now closed and vote counting begins

Turkish chef Nusret Gokce, aka Salt Bae, casts his vote

Nusret Gokce, an Istanbul-based butcher and owner of the popular restaurant chain Nusr-Et Steakhouse, has over a million followers on Instagram. 

Vote counting beings in 32 provinces across eastern region

Ballot papers omit question, only 'Yes' or 'No' answers

'Yes' voters says executive presidency will bring stability to Turkey

“I voted yes because it will allow the government to rule the country with stability and prevent all types of illegal pressure on the executive," Hakan Guntepe, a shop owner in Istanbul's Cekmekoy area told MEE on Sunday. 

"It will allow the elected government to execute its actions better under a separation of powers that is more independent.”  



Hakan Guntepe, a shop owner in Istanbul's Cekmekoy area on 16 April (Suraj Sharma/MEE)

 

No voters express their concerns over Turkey's future

“I have to vote no because there is too much uncertainty with this new system," Melih Balci, 23, university student in Istanbul’s Uskudar district told MEE on Sunday.
 
"What if the person who comes after Recep Tayyip Erdogan has the wrong intentions and so much power? I am too young to make comparisons with the past but all my elders tell me that nothing good will come of this either.” 
 


A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Ataturk Library during a referendum in Istanbul on 16 April (Reuters)
 
“I voted no because Turkey is bigger than one,” 
Umut Gundem, 22, university student told MEE, in an inverse reference to an often-quoted reference made by president Erdogan that the world is bigger than five.
 
Erdogan has used this quote to demand more power for countries who are not part of the permanent five in the UN Security Council.


A man casts his ballot at a polling station during a referendum Aegean port city of Izmir (Reuters)
 

One hour until polling stations close in Turkey

Millions of Turkish citizens headed to polling stations across the country on Sunday to vote in a referendum on on expanding the powers of the Turkish president. 



A little boy casts a ballot at a polling station during the referendum on 16 April in the Istanbul district of Besiktas (AFP)



A woman casts his vote in front of polling booth observers in Istanbul's Sariyer district (Suraj Sharma/MEE)