President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voted in the morning in Istanbul, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Izmir, while Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu cast his vote in his home city of Antalya. Leaders of the main opposition parties, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Devlet Bahceli of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), voted in Ankara.
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.
Polls closed at 13:00 GMT time in the eastern part of Turkey and an hour later elsewhere. The results of the voting from the eastern regions of Turkey, where the referendum started earlier, are expected to be announced soon.
Security at the polling stations were maintained by 380,000 policemen. No serious violations have been registered, except for an incident in the south-eastern province of Diyarbakir, where two people were killed in a shooting near a polling station.
The press service of pro-Kurdish Turkish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) told Sputnik that its jailed leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag were also expected to take part in the voting.