Turkey majorly says “Yes” in referendum

The “Yes” vote has prevailed in Turkey’s historic presidential system and constitutional reform referendum with more than 98 percent of ballot boxes opened.

With 98.3 percent of the votes counted, 51.4 percent voted “yes” and backed the constitutional changes to replace the parliamentary system with a presidential vote, with 48.6 percent voting “no” against the changes.

More than 55 million people in the country of about 80 million were registered to vote while more than 1.3 million Turkish voters cast their ballots abroad.

The election data showed that Turkey’s three biggest cities Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, as well as the predominantly Kurdish southeast voted “No”, however, the “Yes” campaign still performed better than expected in southeast where the region heavily voted for pro-PKK HDP in the general elections in 2015.

With more than 98 percent of the votes counted, the results show that a great majority of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voters sided with the “No” in referendum.

Although the votes of the MHP and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) were 61.39 percent in the November 1, 2015 referendum, “Yes” votes barely exceeded 51 percent in the referendum. AK Party votes stood at 49.49 percent in the November elections.

Erdoğan congratulates party heads on referendum victory

Many world leaders also send congratulatory messages to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, say sources

Turkey’s president has congratulated the heads of political parties which supported the Yes campaign in Sunday’s referendum.

After voting in Turkey’s constitutional referendum concluded nationwide, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday evening had phone conversations with ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party leader Binali Yıldırım, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahcçeli, and Grand Unity Party (BBP) Mustafa Destici, presidential sources said.

Erdoğan congratulated the party leaders on their referendum victory, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The president also thanked the voters who went to the polls to reflect their choice.

Meanwhile, many world leaders have sent congratulatory messages to Erdoğan, the sources added.

As of 9.25 p.m. (1825GMT), unofficial results showed Yes with 51.34 percent — 24,789,242 votes — while No had 48.66 percent, or 23,499,390 votes.

Sunday’s referendum asked voters to choose Yes or No on an 18-article bill that would see the country switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, among other changes.

Turkey’s opposition MHP party leader says referendum result is a significant success

The leader of Turkey’s nationalist MHP opposition party said on Sunday that the outcome of a referendum was an “undeniably successful achievement” and should be respected.

Devlet Bahçeli, who supported the “yes” campaign in Sunday’s vote, made the comments in a statement as initial results showed a victory for proposed constitutional changes to replace Turkey’s parliamentary system with an executive presidency.