Turkey detains 49 IS suspects said to be planning attacks

Turkey detains 49 IS suspects said to be planning attacks

And Erdogan will have to be elected then to claim the powers this referendum will bring.

He's been setting the stage for this vote since winning the presidency in 2014 and turning what was a largely ceremonial office into a nexus of authority.

In an opinion published on March 31, the body warned the changes would "lead to an excessive concentration of executive power in the hands of the president and the weakening of parliamentary control of that power" and "would introduce in Turkey a presidential regime which lacks the necessary checks and balances required to safeguard against becoming an authoritarian one".

More than one million Turkish immigrants live in Germany and the Netherlands, and have been eligible to submit postal votes.

The country's state of emergency and a wave of terror attacks have taken their toll on the economy and given President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a reason to say he needs greater powers to keep the country safe.

Simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new constitution. Over a million registered citizens voted at 120 foreign missions in 57 countries.

The "Yes" campaign also hit a last-minute hitch when the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the AKP's partner in promoting the changes, reacted angrily to comments by a presidential adviser suggesting a federal system could be imposed in Turkey.

People walk past a "YES" billboard with an image of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ahead of the Sunday referendum, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, April 14, 2017.

The people of Turkey will go to the polls on Sunday to vote for the constitutional amendments. The ruling party argues however that the reforms, which require courts to be "impartial" - and not just "independent" - will strengthen the judiciary.




The changes will allow the President to dissolve Parliament.

The changes would mean that Erdogan could theoretically remain president through 2029, reports US News & World Report.

In Kulunk's office on Camlica Hill, once a historical hunting ground and now a popular viewing point, a signed picture of Erdogan hung on the wall next to portraits of Ataturk.

The reforms would increase the number of seats in parliament from the current 550 to 600.

The referendum comes amid troubled times for Turkey, which has been plagued by a string of bombings, renewed violence between the government forces and Kurdish rebels and a failed coup attempt in July that resulted in a state of emergency that remains in place.

The opposition has complained of a lopsided campaign, with Erdogan using the full resources of the state and the governing party to dominate the airwaves and blanket the country with pro-"yes" campaign posters. More than 150 media outlets have been closed and some 150 journalists jailed. He also appealed to voters of other parties to approve the changes so "Turkey can leap into the future". An emergency rule decree has removed the Supreme Electoral Board's powers to fine media who do not provide impartial coverage.

After a slew of attacks over the past year blamed on Kurdish militants and jihadists, security is set to be a major issue on polling day.

Security will be high for Sunday's vote, with almost 34,000 police deployed in Istanbul alone.

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