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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a rally for the upcoming referendum, in Izmir, Turkey, April 9, 2017.

    Erdogan on Referendum Result: 'Historic Decision on Turkey's Governance System'

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    Turkey Votes for Presidential System of Government in National Referendum (70)
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    As 51.3 percent of Turks voted in favor of constitutional changes in Sunday referendum, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the outcomes of the vote "a historic decision on Turkey's governance system."

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — The decision on transforming Turkey from a parliamentary republic to a presidential one, adopted in a referendum, is one of the most important reforms in the Turkish history, Erdogan said on Sunday.

    "The voting has become an important indicator showing that people protect their country, their future. A historic decision on Turkey's governance system has been made today. With the help of the people we implemented one of the most important governance reform in our history," Erdogan told reporters in Ankara.

    Erdogan added that the referendum result was a common victory of all the 80 million people living in Turkey or abroad, while "all the disputes were left behind."

    According to the preliminary results of the referendum provided by the Anadolu news agency, supporters of the constitutional amendments increasing the powers of the country's president are gaining 51.3 percent of votes after 99% of votes being processed.

    Earlier in the day, Turkish citizens voted in a referendum on amendments to the constitution, stipulating strengthening of the presidential powers over the legislature and the judiciary, as well as allowing the president to remain the head of the political party he represents, which is not allowed by the current legislation.

    On January 21, the Turkish parliament approved constitutional amendments that would strengthen the presidential powers over the legislature and the judiciary. If approved in the referendum, the president will also be able to remain the head of the political party he represents, have the ability to appoint a number of top judges and declare a state of emergency, which is not allowed by the current legislation. The decision was criticized by opposition parties as a power grab attempt by the president.

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    Turkey Votes for Presidential System of Government in National Referendum (70)

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    amendments, referendum, constitution, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
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