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Turkey To Vote On Constitutional Reforms

Defenders of the changes say those opposed will be able to voice their opinions in the referendum, which will pit Turkey's religious factions, which are loyal to Erdoğan, against the country's more secularist populace.

A referendum on amendments to the Turkish Constitution is expected to be held on April 16.

But with Turkey's opposition media largely silenced, opponents of the constitutional changes complain that they can not get their views across. The amendments are now subject to a referendum that will take place in April. "Did we found the republic for this?" he said, reported AFP.

The president will also be given the authority to annul parliament and declare an election, while they will also have the authority to declare a state of emergency, during which they will have the authority to issue decrees without any restriction of jurisdiction.

The minimum age for parliamentary candidates will be reduced to 18 and the number of lawmakers will rise to 600.

The ruling Justice and Development Party, backed by the Nationalist Movement Party, says it will bring the strong executive leadership needed to prevent a return to the fragile coalition governments of the past. His opponents fear it will herald increasingly authoritarian rule.

Erdoğan has now been in power 14 years, but if the bill is approved, he could remain in office till 2029. The president-elect will not be obliged to be a non-party nominee any more. Who says no? Those who want to divide this country say no.

Changes to the constitution need to be approved by at least 367 of the 550 members of parliament to become law.

Erdogan said he was fighting for the new system, not himself, adding the Turkish nation would have the last word.

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