Erdogan Becomes Sultan After Turkey Referendum, Opposition Contests Result

Early on, it looked like Turkey’s Erdogan was well on his way to easily winning a historic referendum that would allow him to change the country’s constitution and consolidate power in the presidency.

As noted earlier today and as detailed extensively on Saturday, this is a huge deal for Turkey and for emerging markets.

But as the votes came in, the “yes” lead dwindled.

Ultimately though, Erdogan declared victory, calling the leaders of three political parties supporting changes to the constitution to congratulate them. As AA reports, “Erdogan called Prime Minister and AK Party leader Binali Yildirim, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli and Mustafa Destici, leader of the BBP.”

Meanwhile, Erdal Aksunger, deputy head of main opposition party CHP, told reporters at televised press conference that there are about 2.5m ‘problematic’ votes in the referendum. Unsurprisingly, the pro-Kurdish HDP is also crying foul. Here’s more from Bloomberg:

  • Aksunger calls on supporters not to leave ballot boxes until the count is over; “The election isn’t over. We are going to get what is our right”
  • High Election Board YSK counted around 1.5m votes that should have been considered invalid
  • Separately, pro-Kurdish HDP party, former members of nationalist MHP party also contesting results with election board

For his part, Erdogan wants you to respect his authoritah:

  • “We want foreign countries and institutions to respect the decision of our nation,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says in televised remarks in Istanbul.
  • “We expect countries we accept as allies to develop their relationships with our country in line with our sensitivities, led by our fight against terrorism”
  • Turkey moving to most important government reform in its history
  • Turkey for first time has changed its government system by civilian means
  • Contents of amendments point to “fundamental change”
  • Referendum is over, and debates on it are behind us
  • Turkey has much to do before 2019, when presidential system is to go into force at next scheduled general elections
  • Increase in support in southeastern Turkey “important”

As a reminder, here’s how things unfolded:

  • AA SAYS 31% OF TURKEY BALLOT BOXES OPENED, `YES’ AT 61.77%
  • AA SAYS 38.1% OF TURKEY BALLOT BOXES OPENED, `YES’ AT 59.93%
  • 44% OF TURKEY BALLOT BOXES OPENED, `YES’ 58.6%, `NO’ 41.4%: AA
  • 51% OF TURKEY BALLOT BOXES OPENED, `YES’ 57.5%, `NO’ 42.5%: AA
  • 61% OF TURKEY BALLOT BOXES OPENED, `YES’ AT 56%, `NO’ 44%: AA
  • 69% OF TURKEY BALLOT BOXES OPENED, `YES’ 55%, `NO’ 45%: AA
  • 78% OF TURKEY BALLOT BOXES OPENED, `YES’ 53.9%, `NO’ 46.1%: AA\

And here’s a live feed from CNN Turk:

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