- Title: A look at Turkey's Erdogan ahead of referendum vote
- Date: 6th April 2017
- Summary: SCUFFLES BREAK OUT BETWEEN SECURITY FORCES AND SEVERAL THOUSAND MIGRANTS MARCHING TOWARDS TURKEY'S BORDER WITH GREECE. EDIRNE, TURKEY (SEPTEMBER 18, 2015) (REUTERS) VARIOUS MIGRANTS WALKING ON THE HIGHWAY SOLDIERS AND POLICE BLOCKING THE ROAD MIGRANTS CHANTING SLOGANS IN FRONT OF POLICE BARRICADE VARIOUS OF SCUFFLES BETWEEN MIGRANTS AND POLICE CARRYING SHIELDS POLICEMEN PUSHING BACK MIGRANTS WITH SHIELDS BOY BEING CARRIED ON HIS FATHER'S SHOULDERS, CRYING VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS ARRIVING FOR REINFORCEMENT A STATE PROSECUTOR BANS TURKEY'S LARGEST PAY-TV PLATFORM FROM BROADCASTING CHANNELS CLOSE TO AN ARCH-ENEMY OF ERDOGAN, HEIGHTENING CONCERN ABOUT PRESS FREEDOM WEEKS AHEAD OF AN ELECTION. ISTANBUL, TURKEY (OCTOBER 8, 2015) (REUTERS) BANNER READING (English): 'FREE MEDIA CANNOT BE SILENCED' VIEW OF MASTER CONTROL ROOM VARIOUS OF TV SCREENS PROMPTER SHOWING A STORY ON DIGITURK TV PLATFORM'S DECISION MASTER CONTROL ROOM
- Embargoed: 20th April 2017 19:24
- Keywords: Turkey Tayyip Erdogan referendum Fethullah Gulen coup
- Location: SEE SCRIPT BODY FOR LOCATIONS
- City: SEE SCRIPT BODY FOR LOCATIONS
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00L6BAD6IV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 on replacing its parliamentary system with the stronger presidency long sought by incumbent Tayyip Erdogan.
The proposed constitutional reform would mark one of the biggest changes in the European Union candidate country's system of governance since the modern republic was founded on the ashes of the Ottoman empire almost a century ago.
Erdogan assumed the presidency, currently a largely ceremonial position, in 2014 after more than a decade as prime minister with the AKP, which he co-founded. Since then, pushing his powers to the limit, he has continued to dominate politics by dint of his personal popularity and forceful personality.
Critics accuse him of increasing authoritarianism with the arrests and dismissal of tens of thousands of judges, police, military officers, journalists and academics since a failed military coup in July 2016.
Erdogan has led a crackdown on people suspected of involvement with the movement led by exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, which he blames for last year's failed coup.
With the constitutional overhaul, the president will be able to retain ties to a political party, potentially allowing Erdogan to resume his leadership of the AKP, a move that opposition parties say would wreck any chance of impartiality.
But, Erdogan's supporters see the plans as a guarantee of stability at a time of turmoil, with Turkey's security threatened by the wars in neighboring Syria and Iraq, and by a spate of Islamic State and Kurdish militant attacks.
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