Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a referendum on Sunday that has granted him expanded powers, making him the de facto emperor of Turkey.
Late on Sunday, Erdogan declared victory on his newly acquired tyrannical powers, and congratulated his supporters.
— ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) April 16, 2017
However, because the overall vote ended on such a close margin, controversy has arisen over an official decision to allow the counting of ballots without the official seal of the Turkish Elections Board. Critics argue that votes may have been tampered with in order to push Erdogan over the line.
Erdogan’s new powers will make him almost completely unaccountable to Parliament and the judiciary system in Turkey.
The judiciary which traditionally exercised a powerful role in restraining powerful individual Turkish leaders and typically had a Kemalist interpretation of Turkish law, is to be substantially weakened. Turkey’s judges have represented the biggest stumbling block in Erdogan’s path to guiding Turkey further from secular government.
The reforms would further allow Erdogan to issue his own emergency Presidential decrees, call elections whenever he wants and personally enact new laws.
There is a possibility that Erdogan could use the reforms to remain in power until 2029, by which time he would be 74 years of age.
The election campaign has been filled with ultra-nationalist and neo-Ottoman rhetoric from Erdogan and his supporters. After one Turkish official was expelled from The Netherlands and another was refused entry into the country, Erdogan made anti-Europeanism a prominent theme of the election.
The all ready powerful Turkish President has promised that Europe ‘will pay’ for ‘humiliating and oppressing Turks‘.
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