Zühtü Arslan, head of Turkey's Constitutional Court, has lauded the high turnout rate in the recent referendum as he identified it as a sign of "great democratic maturity." He was speaking at an event celebrating the 55th anniversary of Turkey's Constitutional Court in Ankara on Tuesday. Commenting on the referendum result, Arslan said, "The Turkish people went to the ballot box with a high turnout rate and displayed great democratic maturity on April 16. A voter turnout rate of more than 85 percent is an achievement in terms of democracy." Emphasizing that democracy means people having a say in governance, Arslan said, "It is clear that the people, as the political subject, express their choices through elections and referendums."
He also noted that the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and the constitutional referendum on April 16 were two turning points for Turkey in terms of democratic developments.
Pointing out that the July 15 coup attempt was foiled because of the Turkish people's decisive action against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), Arslan said Turkey's democracy has successfully overcome this issue.
Apart from his comments on the referendum, Arslan reminded that Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state based on the separation of powers and human rights, according to the Turkish constitution.
He added that Turkey is strengthened through the state's territorial integrity, national sovereignty and justice.