According to a panel organized by the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) on the upcoming referendum for the constitutional amendments, "no" voters are behind "yes" campaigners. Several participants from different backgrounds analyzed the situation, including the reasons and the results of the referendum.
On April 16, Turkey votes on constitutional amendments, consisting of 18 articles to introduce an authentic presidential system to the country, which has been ruled by the parliamentary system since its establishment in 1923. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said internal disputes in the executive arena will be over, and Turkey will have a more powerful ruling mechanism, freed from the hegemony of unelected state institutions. In return, opposition groups, primarily the Republican People's Party (CHP) uttering its concerns over a one-man rule, are missing the point that the new system has a control system over the president.
The TASAM statement said the race is very tight and there will not be an overwhelming winner. Therefore, the Ankara-based think tank believes indecisive voters and small political parties will have a determinant role.
Adil Gür, head of the A&G Research Center, which has been conducting polls for decades, was the first speaker and said the people had already made their choices. Gür said people are clear on what to vote for and what not to vote for, adding that the polls have not changed since January. Pointing to previous election results, he said AK Party and MHP voters make up 67 percent of the population, and their votes will not change. Despite claims that internal disputes in the MHP may change voters' decisions, Gür said MHP voters voted for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the presidential election despite the fact that the MHP allied with the CHP and nominated another candidate. He also said initial polls show that "yes" is slightly more than "no." When asked the proportions, he said 53 percent are expected to vote "yes." He indicated 15 percent of voters are indecisive, with half not going to the ballot box. Therefore, he said their votes would not change the result. He also said Turkish people have always voted "yes" in referendums. All panelists agreed that the hostility of the European Union against the Turkish government would have a positive effect on "yes" voters. They also said the "no" front is more multi-voiced. However, the polls indicate that more than 50 percent will vote "yes."
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