As Turkey heads toward a referendum, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been promoting its campaign in support of the constitutional amendment package that foresees a transformation in the system of government. Since AK Party officials announced the referendum date as April 16, party members are preparing to communicate the details of the package to the people of Turkey. According to the AK Party's Ankara deputy Fatih Şahin, the AK Party's provincial organizations have already begun to prepare for the referendum campaign. Şahin indicated that a large meeting is expected to be organized at the Ankara Arena Sports Hall, which has a capacity to hold more than 10,000 people, where government officials will announce details on how to carry out the referendum campaigning process and explain the benefits of the amendment package to the public on Feb. 25.
Noting the advantages of the presidential system in several fields such as the economy, social life, politics and diplomacy, AK Party Deputy Chairman Mehdi Eker emphasized that Turkey would step into a new age with the proposed changes, adding that the new system continues to receive widespread support from people of various walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds, noting: "The current system hinders the country's development and welfare, which AK Party officials will explain during the referendum campaigning process," Eker added.
Regarding the need for a transition into a new presidential system, Mehdi Eker has prepared 25 articles to present to the public which explain why Turkey needs a constitutional change. The prominent articles are related to ensuring stability in every field, accelerating the decision-making process, enhancing the economy and eliminating polarization in society while removing the long chain of bureaucratic procedures to instead be able to respond immediately to the public's need, replacing the two-headed system with a unified executive body.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry sent a diplomatic note to 54 countries to distribute among Turkish citizens living abroad. Next, the ministry accelerated preparations to minimize possible problems that Turkish citizens could face on the ballot, while some of the states requested additional information from Turkey related to the referendum. For 3 million Turkish citizens, 115 ballot boxes are supposed to be set up in the upcoming referendum, with 15 days to vote, which will likely begin in the second half of March, according to Ankara sources. Additionally, the referendum campaigning process in Europe is expected to begin with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım's visit to Germany on Feb. 18, government sources have indicated
In Turkey's Nov. 1, 2015 general elections, 54 ballot boxes were set up for nearly 3 million Turkish citizens abroad with 1,160,000 of them going to the polls. The AK Party came in first in 25 countries including Germany, France, Holland, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, taking 56.22 percent of the votes.
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