- Title: A look at Turkey's Erdogan ahead of referendum vote
- Date: 6th April 2017
- Summary: TAYYIP ERDOGAN STARTS ISTANBUL MARATHON ISTANBUL, TURKEY (FILE - OCTOBER 16, 1996) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** TAYYIP ERDOGAN HELPING WELFARE PARTY (RP) LEADER NECMETTIN ERBAKAN TO START THE RACE ERDOGAN'S BAN ON POLITICS ISTANBUL, TURKEY (FILE - APRIL, 22, 1998) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TURKISH NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES ABOUT ERDOGAN'S BAN ON POLITICS (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) VIRTUE PARTIE (FP) LAWMAKER, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "We will continue on our democratic struggle to the end. Without any doubt we won't fall into any provocation. But again without any doubt we won't bow to pressure." ISTANBUL, TURKEY (FILE) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ERDOGAN PRAYING WITH HIS SUPPORTERS BUS ESCORTED BY POLICE CARRYING ERDOGAN AND HIS WIFE DRIVING TOWARDS PRISON COMPOUND BUS MOVING FORWARD UNDER POLICE SECURITY ERDOGAN WAVING TO HIS SUPPORTERS FROM HIS BUS ERDOGAN WAVING AT HIS SUPPORTERS AFTER GETTING OUT OF PRISON ISTANBUL, TURKEY (FILE - JULY 24, 1999) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SUPPORTERS APPLAUDING AND ERDOGAN WAVING AKP WINS A LANDSLIDE VICTORY IN THE 2002 ELECTION ISTANBUL, TURKEY (FILE - NOVEMBER 3, 2002) (REUTERS) JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT PARTY (AKP) LEADER TAYYIP ERDOGAN AT VOTING STATION/MEDIA VOTING WITH HIS WIFE MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) AKP LEADER, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "We expect a big success and a one party government." ANKARA, TURKEY (FILE - NOVEMBER 4, 2002) (REUTERS) AKP SUPPORTERS CHEERING AND WAVING FLAGS ERDOGAN ON BALCONY OF AKP HEADQUARTERS, WAVING TO SUPPORTERS / PEOPLE CHEERING / ERDOGAN THROWING ROSES TO HIS SUPPORTERS WOMAN SMILING ERDOGAN ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE ABDULLAH GUL WATCHING ERDOGAN (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) AKP LEADER, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "As soon as possible, we have to get in touch with the leading and opposition party leaders of European Union, in order to build an infrastructure."
- 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: LVA0016BAD6IV
- 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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