Turkey Referendum: Erdogan Declares Victory
Published by Family Writers
17th April 2017
Ankara (CNN)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country's prime minister have declared victory in a Sunday referendum designed to hand Erdogan sweeping powers.
The Turkish Election Commission has yet to release its official results, and the opposition promised to contest at least a third of the votes cast. But according to the state-run Anadolu Agency, with 99.8% of the ballots counted, Erdogan appeared poised to win with 51.4% of voters casting ballots in his favor.
A total of 47.5 million votes were cast, Anadolu said.
Supreme Electoral Council President Sadi Guven also confirmed that the "yes" votes had prevailed, according to unofficial results. He said official results would arrive in about 10 days, after any objections had been considered.
Voters were asked to endorse an 18-article reform package put forward by the ruling Justice and Development Party that would replace the current system of parliamentary democracy with a powerful executive presidency.
"God willing, these results will be the beginning of a new era in our country," Erdogan said at a news conference Sunday night, explaining that unofficial totals indicated the "yes" votes had prevailed in the referendum by about 1.3 million ballots, while Anadolu pegged it at closer to 1.14 million.
Several groups fighting in Syria tweeted their congratulations to Turkey, and according to Anadolu, Azerbaijani, Palestinian, Qatari, Pakistani, Hungarian, Macedonian, Saudi, Sudanese and Kenyan leaders passed along congratulatory messages to Turkey's Foreign Ministry.