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Turkey in new dawn as majority votes yes for constitutional referendum

Turkey’s constitutional referendum resulted in a 58% yes vote which will bring sweeping changes to the Turkish constitution after Sunday’s vote.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after the yes vote had emerged from the Turkish Constitutional Referendum

The much disputed referendum which proposed dozens of changes to the current Turkish constitution was implemented after a military backed coup in 1980.

The constitutional referendum which took place on the 30th anniversary of the military backed coup will now allow the masterminds of the coup that took the lives of thousands of people to be judged by Turkish courts.

The Referendum which took a vote of 58% yes and 42% no has been seen as an unprecedented victory for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before next year’s general election.

Erdoğan said “Turkey has gone a step forward towards greater democracy” after the referendum resulted in a yes vote.

However it was not an easy triumph for the Prime Minister who has been criticized by opposition Party’s for silencing media groups and news agencies which opposed the government.

One of the main forms of advertisement for the “YES” campaign by the government was to use Turkish pop idols and actors and actresses to say “they were voting yes” at the constitutional referendum.

And though the pop idols used by the government defended their choice of the referendum, opposition groups alleged the government of pressuring artists to say “Yes” in front of the media as a propaganda act.

Turkey’s ruling AK Party (Justice & Development Party) has been criticized by secularist Turks of having Islamic routes who want to bring an Islamic state into Turkey.

While the government denies these allegations, the new constitution after Sunday’s result will bring great changes to the Turkish judiciary.

In all, 26 changes were voted for by Turkish citizens on Sunday which the government was also criticized for as many people were ill informed of what the changes would implement.

Two of the amendments to the Turkish constitution will bring changes to the judiciary system and how the members of Turkey’s highest courts will be chosen.

The changes will now allow the government, great influence to the judges who are chosen to Turkey’s highest court.

The AKP have clashed many times with Turkey’s highest court and opposition Party’s say that the main reason behind the constitutional referendum was the changes towards the judiciary.

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3 Comment

  1. turkey is going islamic.. have no doubt… sharia law is coming to turkey …remember how khomeini said democracy and shoved down theocracy down the throats of millions …going to happen in turkey now… get ready .

  2. The average person is probably clueless by what the referendum in Turkey really means. And of course, there are those with an anti-Islamic agenda that insinuate Tayip Erdogan is an Islamist with an impetus to smash the secularist nature of Turkey established by Kemal Attaturk. But the facts do not support that phony argument.

    A short Turkey matter-of-fact review: 50 years ago, Turkey was a poor agrarian country in which an elite class and the military lived in splendor, but 95% of Turks lived in poverty. In 1961, Turkish prime minister Adnan Menderes – who used to spend a lot of time in European casinos and night clubs, and spent freely public funds in luxury hotels with prostitutes, was deposed by the military, convicted for corruption, and hanged publicly!!!! Since then, the military and the judiciary established themselves as the real power
    in Turkey, and the Turks respected that as “a behind the scenes” real power to keep the Menderes-years
    corruption from resurfacing. The Turkish president and prime ministers since then were just marionettes of the military and high judiciary class. Prime ministers lasted about 1 year in office, and Ismet Inonu, Bulent Ecevit, and Suleiman Demirel were recycled in-and-out of prime ministerships numerous times. Others had 1-time short tenures. Non had any real authority; they followed the military-judiciary cues, or they were thrown out of office unceremoniously!

    In 1996, the Welfare Party, of Mr. Necmetin Erbakan won the elections. The party provided free clinics, and
    freed food and public services for the poor -like Hezbollah does in Lebanon, because it was an Islamic based party, and it followed the guidance of the Holy Quran to give to the poor. That didn’t seat well with the elite class, and the Judiciary disqualified him from office within a year for “threatening the secularist nature” of Turkey!

    And that is what the present referendum pushed by Mr. Tayiip Erdogan was all about. In short it comes into this question: Will Turkey be governed by the will of the people, or by an entrenched elite “non-elected judiciary class” that do not have to answer to anyone? What is the value of elections when the elected president and prime minister are powerless to implement the programs promised to the electorate? Why shall the elected president and prime minister have to look over their shoulders, or be afraid to implement programs under the fear that they may be disqualified from office like Necmetin Erbakan?

    The constitutional referendum in Turkey, therefore, was needed to return the power which has been usurped so far by the military-judiciary elite to the people. It is time for the military-judiciary dictatorship under the phony facade of democratic process in Turkey to come to an end. No more disposable or shackled by the military-judiciary prime ministers! We live now in year 2010 – not in the 1960’s! Nikos Retsos, retired professor

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