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Turkish Referendum: Turkish citizens living abroad have started voting at their Embassies and Consulates - by RM

Voting on referendum for Turks abroad  started March 27
Large numbers of Turks all over the world have started going  to the polls since March 27 to vote yes or no on a new Turkish Constitution,

This referendum which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is currently putting to vote around the world and in Turkey on April 16 will bring about a complete overhaul in the Turkish system of governance.

The change will abolish the office of the prime minister and concentrate dictatorial power in the president’s hands.

If the referendum is successful, Erdoğan could stay on as president not only for two terms, until 2029, but also uncontested.

Unfortunately, all opposition is just about wiped out, due to the systematic crackdown against any dissent in Turkey by President Erdogan.

Turks in Turkey today seem reluctant to protest this anti-democratic (Referendum) move.

In Turkey itself the Pew Research Center finds that on a number of issues, Turks are almost evenly split between those who are happy with Erdogan’s leadership and the state of the nation, and those who believe the former Istanbul mayor is leading the country down the wrong path. Overall, 44% are satisfied with the country’s direction, while 51% are dissatisfied. Half say the economy is doing well, while 46% think it is in bad shape. Forty-eight percent say Erdogan is having a good influence on the country, while  the same percentage believes he is having a negative impact.

Young and old taking their voting rights very serious
There are some 7 million Turks living outside Turkey, of which close to 5 million live in Europe, approximately half a million in the US, and about 44.000 in Canada. The rest are scattered  around the world

Given early exit polls, verified by EU-Digest, the yes vote in Europe is ahead by about 2 % , while in the US and Canada, which both have a larger number of higher educated and economically more prosperous Turks than in Europe, the no vote is ahead by close to 35 %

With Democracy seemingly  on the way out in Turkey it is remarkable, that when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Turkey last week he failed to raise concerns that the country may be sliding toward a dictatorship and made no mention at all of mass arrests of protesters and the purge of opponents that followed last year’s failed coup attempt, or the crackdown on the news media.  Turkey now has more than half of the world’s journalists in jail.

Turkey is also  internally at war with the Kurds, which make up close to a quarter of its population,

As of today the Erdogan Government has dismissed over 130,000 people from their jobs and filled the prisons with them. Also some 6,300 academics were fired from their jobs, while fifteen universities were  closed.

Bottom-line, a win for NO in the referendum is probably the last chance for Turkey to reestablish a more positive image of the country abroad and the fact that Democracy there is not totally dead.  


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