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Turkey says ‘Yes’!

September 13, 2010

Turkey says ‘yes’; gives go-ahead to more reforms.

The Turkish nation gave a strong go-ahead to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government with its reforms on Sunday, as a constitutional amendment package garnered 58 percent of the national vote — a figure higher than expected in opinion polls.

The public vote on the package was seen as a test for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government, which has pushed for political and economic reforms since coming to power in 2002. The government believes the amendment of the military-era Constitution is a key step in Turkey’s path to full democracy.

The constitutional amendment package includes 26 articles. The package will make the military more accountable to civilian courts as well as re-structure the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).

The referendum had symbolic aspects for many voters, as it coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Sept. 12, 1980, military coup. For most, the referendum offered an opportunity for victims of the coup to settle accounts with the coup’s instigators. Dozens of people were killed and hundreds were tortured after the putsch.

Participation rate high

Yesterday’s vote showed that the referendum was popular among Turkey’s voters, with a participation rate of around 78 percent. The figure is higher when compared with the 2007 referendum on presidential election system. Slightly more than 67 percent cast a vote in 2007.

For more info, go to Today’s Zaman ..

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