Turkish constitutional referendum, 2010

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Turkish constitutional referendum, 2010
Constitutional referendum for 26 articles of the constitution.
Results
Yes or no Votes Percentage
Yes check.svg Yes 21,789,180 57.88%
X mark.svg No 15,854,113 42.12%
Valid votes 37,643,293 98.11%
Invalid or blank votes 725,961 1.89%
Total votes 38,369,254 100.00%
Voter turnout 73.71%
Results by province
Turkish constitutional referendum 2010.svg
  Yes
  No
Source: Turkish Supreme Election Board (YSK) [1]

A constitutional referendum on a number of changes to the constitution was held in Turkey on 12 September 2010. The results showed the majority supported the constitutional amendments, with 58% in favour and 42% against.[1][2] The changes were aimed at bringing the constitution into compliance with European Union standards. Supporters of Turkish EU membership hope constitutional reform will facilitate the membership process.[3]

The Kurdish party of BDP (Peace and Democracy party) declared that they will boycott to vote the Turkish constitution, because it is not mentioned in the constitution that Kurds exist in Turkey and so do not recognize there language, culture or any human rights, that have a population in nearly 20 million Kurd in Turkey. Turkey has denied the Kurdish people in Turkey since its establishment in 1922.[4]

Background[edit]

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Turkey

After the military coup of 12 September 1980, a new constitution was drafted, designed by the military junta that came to power. Thirty years later, a referendum was held regarding a number of amendments to that constitution.

In 2010, the Turkish parliament adopted a series of constitutional amendments. The amendments did not achieve the required two-thirds majority (67%) to immediately implement the changes. However, they did receive a majority of 330 votes (60%), which was sufficient to present the amendments to the electorate in a referendum. A constitutional change to make it more difficult for the Supreme Court to dissolve parties failed to pass.[5]

The reform package was accepted by parliament on 7 May, initiating the referendum process. The referendum was expected to be held 60 days after the publication of the package in the Official Gazette, but the Supreme Election Board (YSK) announced that it would be held 120 days later on 12 September.[5]

Changes by theme[edit]

Coup leaders and military personnel[edit]

Provisional Article 15 of the Constitution, which provided protection to coup leaders, will be abolished. The amendments will allow the leaders of the 1980 coup to be sent to court.[6] Military officers who commit crimes against the state, such as preparing coup plans, will be tried in civilian courts.[2] Military personnel who are dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces will have the right to appeal to the judiciary, the right to legal remedies and the right of defense.[2]

Personal information such as names, photographs and ID information will be kept private. This kind of information will be stored only if the individual agrees to it, and individuals believing their personal information is being misused will be able to hold relevant entities accountable.[7]

Economic and social rights[edit]

Businesspeople with tax debts will be able to travel abroad. Businesspeople facing an investigation or prosecution are prohibited from traveling abroad under current regulations. In the amendments, businesspeople will be able to travel abroad provided there is no court order restricting their travel.[8]

Right to collective bargaining for government employees. While government employees will be granted the right to collective bargaining, the Public Employees' Arbitration Board consisting of government employee representatives will have the final say. The same right will be granted to the retired. Government employees who believe they have been punished unfairly will be able to go to court.[8]

Restrictions on the right to strike will be removed. Restrictions on politically motivated strikes and lockouts will be removed to advance workers' rights.[9] Labor unions will not be held liable for material damage to a workplace where a strike is being held as a result of deliberately negligent behavior by the workers and by the labor union.[8]

The Economic and Social Council (ESK), which comprises representatives from unions, associations and confederations, will be given constitutional protection. The council will be effective in determining economic policies[citation needed] and the government's involvement in council activities will be removed.

Individual freedoms[edit]

Problems between the state and citizens will be resolved by way of an ombudsman without having to go to court. If citizens are not satisfied with judicial decisions, they will be able to directly petition the Constitutional Court.

Measures enacted to ensure equal rights for men and women will not be interpreted as contrary to the principle of equality,[10] nor those enacted to protect children, elderly people, disabled people, widows and orphans of martyrs as well as for invalid and veterans.[10][11]

Since the structure of the Constitutional Court will change, closing down parties will not be as easy as it used to be. Deputies will not be banned from politics if their party is closed down, but will keep their seats for the normal term.[2]

Government workers, who until now could only be a member of one labor union, will now have a choice.[11] Additionally, warnings and reprimands given to government employees will be open to judicial review. Government employees who believe they have been punished unfairly will be able to make claims in court.[8]

Judicial reforms[edit]

Parliament will choose some of the members of the Constitutional Court. The number of Constitutional Court members will be expanded.[6] Parliament will appoint three members while the president will appoint 14 members. The Constitutional Court will obtain a more democratic structure, consisting of two parts and functioning as a general assembly.

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) will increase in number from 7 to 22. Members will no longer be elected only by the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Council of State.[6] A total of 11 judges from around 13,000 judges will be appointed to the board to represent judges on the bench.

Dismissed judges will be able to appeal to the judiciary. The HSYK's decisions, like YAŞ decisions, will be open to judicial review. Prosecutors and judges dismissed by the board will be able to challenge dismissal decisions in court.[citation needed]

All citizens will be able to file a petition with the Constitutional Court.[11] This is now only possible at the European Court of Human Rights.[8]

Besides the President, the ministers and other senior government officials, the chairman of the parliament and the supreme commander of the Turkish army can now also appear in the Supreme Court (Yüce Divan).[11][12]

Changes by article[edit]

Source: Government of Turkey, Prime Ministry; translated by Secretariat General for European Union Affairs (19 August 2010). Law No 5982 Amending Certain Provisions of the Constitution (pdf). Secretariat General for European Union Affairs. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  • Measures ensuring equality between men and women, and protecting children, the elderly, disabled people, widows and orphans of martyrs as well as for invalid and veterans would not be considered a violation of the principle of equality. (Revises Article 10)
  • The protection of personal data and privacy would be revised, and everyone would be entitled to the protection of privacy. Access to data about personal information would be included within the new protection measures. (Revises Article 20)
  • Travel bans would be relaxed. Trips abroad would be restricted only if a person is subject to a criminal investigation or a legal case. (Revises Article 23)
  • Additional protections would be granted regarding family and children's rights. All children would expressly have the right to have direct communication with their mother and father and continue relations with them. (Revises Article 41)
  • Public servants would be allowed to be members of more than one union. Civil servants would also have the right to collective bargaining with a body for conciliation to be established in the event of disagreement. (Revises Article 53)
  • The ban on general strikes would be lifted. The measure would also include strikes held for political or solidarity purposes, as well as slowdown strikes. (Revises Article 54)
  • An ombudsman system to deal with problems that may arise between state institutions and citizens would be established. Every citizen would be granted the right to request information and apply to the ombudsman. (Revises Article 74)
  • Deputies would remain in their posts until their elected term ends, even if their parties are closed. (Revises Article 84)
  • The tenure of deputies elected for Parliament's presidential board would be modified. (Revises Article 94)
  • Decisions by the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ), that result in the expulsion of military officers from the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, would be allowed to be appealed in court. The amendment, however, has excluded YAŞ decisions that force military personnel to retire due to promotion procedures and the absence of tenure. Under current law, YAŞ decisions to expel military officers from the armed forces cannot be taken to court. (Revises Article 125)
  • Public servants would be granted the right to collective bargaining with regard to their financial and social rights. (Revises Article 128)
  • Public servants would be provided the right to apply to courts over censure or warning punishments they face in their workplaces. (Revises Article 129)
  • Justice services and the supervision of prosecutors with regard to their administrative duties would be performed by Justice Ministry inspectors. (Revises Article 144)
  • Civilian courts would be permitted to try military personnel, and military courts would not be permitted to try civilians other than during times of war. (Revises Article 145)
  • The size and membership of the Constitutional Court would be restructured. The number of members of the country's top court would be raised to 17 from 11, and Parliament and the president would elect and appoint members. Currently only the president can appoint members to the Constitutional Court. (Revises Article 146)
  • New court members would be selected for terms of 12 years or until they reach the age of 65. The current article does not set a term limit but stipulates that members retire upon reaching the age of 65. (Revises Article 147)
  • Citizens would be allowed the right to make personal applications to the Constitutional Court. The article would also pave the way for the court to act as the Supreme Council and acquire the authority to judge the chief of General Staff, force commanders and the Parliament speaker in the event of abuses of power. It also allows for the appeal of decisions made while the court acts as the Supreme Council. (Revises Article 148)
  • A quorum would be established for the Constitutional Court to convene and the minimum number of votes required to close a political party or annul constitutional amendments would be changed to two-thirds from three-fifths. (Revises Article 149)
  • The organization and function of the military Supreme Court of Appeals would be restructured. (Revises Article 156)
  • The function of the Supreme Military Administrative Court would be based on the principle of the freedom of the courts rather than the "necessity of military duty." (Revises Article 157)
  • The HSYK would be restructured to consist of 22 regular and 12 substitute members. Nineteen members would be appointed, four by the president. The court would also function in three separate departments and would have the power to launch investigations against judges and prosecutors. (Revises Article 159)
  • The Economic and Social Council would be established as a constitutional institution. The council provides consultation to the government in creating economic and social policies. (Revises Article 166)
  • An article banning the prosecution of the 1980 coup leaders would be annulled. (Annuls temporary Article 15)

Voting in parliament[edit]

On 30 March 2010, Turkey's ruling party submitted its package of constitutional amendments to the parliament. The changes were passed in parliament in late April and early May 2010 with over 330 votes,[13] below the two-thirds majority of 367 votes needed to pass them directly,[14] but enough to send them to a referendum within sixty days after President Abdullah Gül signs the law. On 13 May 2010, president Gül signed the reform package.[15]

The composition of the parliament (550 seats) during the voting was as follows: AK Party: 336, CHP: 97, MHP: 69, BDP: 20, Independent: 12, DSP: 6, DP: 1, TP: 1. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has 336 seats, but deputy Mehmet Ali Şahin cannot vote as he is the parliament speaker. CHP and BDP decided to boycott the voting. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted against the articles.

Each article required more than 330 votes in order to pass. The amendment for Article 69, which would have limited the ability of the Supreme Court to dissolve political parties, did not meet this threshold in the second round and was therefore dropped from the package.[3]

The Constitution Issue[10] First round Second round Results
MP turnout Yes No Other MP turnout Yes No Other
Article 10 Equality before the Law 407 336 70 1 408 332 75 1 YesY
Article 20 Privacy protection 405 337 68 0 408 334 72 2 YesY
Article 23 Prohibition to leave the country 408 337 71 0 407 335 71 1 YesY
Article 41 Family law and children's rights 408 336 69 3 408 338 69 1 YesY
Article 51 More than 1 union membership 405 333 70 2 409 335 70 4 YesY
Article 53 Collective bargaining 408 336 70 2 409 338 71 0 YesY
Article 54 Strike and lockout 408 335 69 4 409 337 71 1 YesY
Article 69 Political party closure 414 337 72 5 410 327 76 7 N
Article 74 Ombudsman 406 334 70 2 409 340 69 0 YesY
Article 84 Membership in parliament 408 335 70 3 409 335 73 1 YesY
Article 94 Parliament's presidential board 409 338 70 1 408 336 70 2 YesY
Article 125 Recourse to judicial review 408 336 70 2 409 338 69 2 YesY
Article 128 The right to collective bargaining 408 338 70 0 409 339 70 0 YesY
Article 129 The right to apply to courts 408 336 71 1 408 339 69 0 YesY
Article 144 Judicial oversight 407 335 71 1 409 338 70 1 YesY
Article 145 Military Justice 407 337 70 0 410 336 72 2 YesY
Article 146 Organisation of Constitutional Court 407 331 72 4 410 337 69 4 YesY
Article 147 Term of office and membership 406 335 70 1 408 337 71 0 YesY
Article 148 Functions and powers 407 337 69 1 408 337 70 1 YesY
Article 149 Functioning and trial procedure 408 338 70 0 408 336 71 1 YesY
Article 156 Military Court of Cassation 408 338 70 0 407 336 71 0 YesY
Article 157 High Military Administrative Court 407 335 70 2 408 337 71 0 YesY
Article 159 Organisation of the HSYK 409 336 72 1 409 334 73 2 YesY

Annulment of the package[edit]

The main opposition party CHP not only argues that the constitutional package includes unconstitutional reforms, but also that it was passed through procedural violations. It wants the Constitutional Court to review the proposal process. The CHP's legal advisers also argued that the changes the package makes to the structures of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) are in violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers. With this claim, the CHP alleges that the AK Party is attempting to change one of Turkey's constitutional articles that cannot be amended. So in addition to a review of the package on procedural grounds, the CHP also demands a review of the content of the package. The CHP also demands a stay of the referendum results, bringing the total of CHP demands to three.

On 7 July 2010, the Turkish Constitutional Court delivered its final verdict on a package of constitutional amendments, which is to be subject to a public referendum on 12 September. The court has ruled in favour of the vast majority of the government's proposed reforms to the constitution. The court did not annul the whole package. Judges annulled certain parts of two articles, but rejected the demands of the Turkish opposition to scrap the whole package on technical grounds. The partially annulled articles pertain to the structure of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). They were controversial due to the changes envisioned in the member appointment processes.

Both the government and the opposition expressed disappointment with the Court's decision.[16]

Polls[edit]

A poll by Sonar Research in August 2010 forecasted 49.1% in favour of the draft and 50.9% opposed.[17]

A poll by KONDA Research in September 2010 forecasted 56.8% in favour of the draft, 25.6% were opposed, while 17.6% were undecided.[18][19][20]

Results[edit]

Turkish constitutional referendum, 2010
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 21,788,272 57.88%
No 15,855,041 42.12%
Valid votes 37,643,313 98.11%
Invalid or blank votes 725,852 1.89%
Total votes 38,369,165 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 52,051,828 73.71%

Results by province[edit]

Province Registered voters People voted Valid votes Invalid votes Yes Yes (%) No No (%) Turnout (%)
Adana 1,386,290 1,009,435 992,202 17,233 434,066 43.75 558,136 56.25 72.82
Adıyaman 358,247 292,354 287,491 4,863 231,222 80.43 56,269 19.57 81.61
Afyonkarahisar 483,583 421,921 411,452 10,469 270,258 65.68 141,194 34.32 87.25
Ağrı 274,121 154,668 148,624 6,044 142,311 95.75 6,313 4.25 56.42
Aksaray 245,874 194,680 190,600 4,080 146,102 76.65 44,498 23.35 79.18
Amasya 233,005 205,982 202,159 3,823 118,637 58.68 83,522 41.32 88.4
Ankara 3,341,633 2,669,076 2,632,720 36,356 1,423,474 54.07 1,209,246 45.93 79.87
Antalya 1,354,787 1,046,905 1,027,278 19,627 444,564 43.28 582,714 56.72 77.27
Ardahan 69,508 53,635 51,835 1,800 28,510 55.00 23,325 45.00 77.16
Artvin 122,503 96,838 94,707 2,131 47,164 49.80 47,543 50.20 79.05
Aydın 719,726 598,062 585,485 12,577 209,820 35.84 375,665 64.16 83.1
Balıkesir 859,259 735,639 722,086 13,553 348,418 48.25 373,668 51.75 85.61
Bartın 140,105 121,146 116,891 4,255 64,713 55.36 52,178 44.64 86.47
Batman 260,951 105,987 99,500 6,487 94,218 94.69 5,282 5.31 40.62
Bayburt 48,973 41,432 40,777 655 34,687 85.07 6,090 14.93 84.6
Bilecik 141,196 124,512 121,762 2,750 60,256 49.49 61,506 50.51 88.18
Bingöl 154,117 118,652 115,651 3,001 110,167 95.26 5,484 4.74 76.99
Bitlis 174,195 121,962 116,543 5,419 108,471 93.07 8,072 6.93 70.01
Bolu 198,972 172,551 169,077 3,474 110,644 65.44 58,433 34.56 86.72
Burdur 184,987 165,187 160,711 4,476 84,511 52.59 76,200 47.41 89.3
Bursa 1,843,820 1,517,902 1,490,239 27,663 839,892 56.36 650,347 43.64 82.32
Çanakkale 360,770 314,284 308,723 5,561 123,800 40.10 184,923 59.90 87.11
Çankırı 130,511 109,633 107,527 2,106 82,272 76.51 25,255 23.49 84.0
Çorum 384,676 338,874 333,237 5,637 226,051 67.83 107,186 32.17 88.09
Denizli 665,282 575,622 562,978 12,644 260,643 46.30 302,335 53.70 86.52
Diyarbakır 851,241 296,245 278,871 17,374 261,916 93.92 16,955 6.08 34.8
Düzce 237,477 201,385 197,817 3,568 143,443 72.51 54,374 27.49 84.8
Edirne 296,576 254,358 249,744 4,614 66,233 26.52 183,511 73.48 85.76
Elazığ 374,530 302,605 296,663 5,942 242,611 81.78 54,052 18.22 80.8
Erzincan 143,843 123,158 121,643 1,515 77,880 64.02 43,763 35.98 85.62
Erzurum 474,085 379,988 373,026 6,962 324,011 86.86 49,015 13.14 80.15
Eskişehir 570,044 472,251 463,957 8,294 213,331 45.98 250,626 54.02 82.84
Gaziantep 984,683 716,358 701,112 15,246 489,706 69.85 211,406 30.15 72.75
Giresun 306,396 244,438 240,153 4,285 152,479 63.49 87,674 36.51 79.78
Gümüşhane 88,536 67,596 66,396 1,200 52,110 78.48 14,286 21.52 76.35
Hakkâri 128,572 11,634 10,512 1,122 9,910 94.27 602 5.73 9.05
Hatay 922,012 767,414 756,763 10,651 362,011 47.84 394,752 52.16 83.23
Iğdır 105,349 53,822 51,941 1,881 28,023 53.95 23,918 46.05 51.09
Isparta 298,726 251,725 245,664 6,061 141,226 57.49 104,438 42.51 84.27
Istanbul 9,206,124 6,743,672 6,641,160 102,512 3,643,666 54.86 2,997,494 45.14 73.25
İzmir 2,870,888 2,283,928 2,246,593 37,335 815,943 36.32 1,430,650 63.68 79.55
Kahramanmaraş 653,042 547,100 539,219 7,881 428,103 79.39 111,116 20.61 83.78
Karabük 163,081 136,555 133,024 3,531 84,821 63.76 48,203 36.24 83.73
Karaman 158,392 136,818 133,482 3,336 88,019 65.94 45,463 34.06 86.38
Kars 183,800 125,998 122,490 3,508 80,243 65.51 42,247 34.49 68.55
Kastamonu 269,272 228,815 223,044 5,771 140,006 62.77 83,038 37.23 84.98
Kayseri 812,554 692,502 680,984 11,518 498,812 73.25 182,172 26.75 85.23
Kilis 75,649 63,243 61,936 1,307 41,411 66.86 20,525 33.14 83.6
Kırıkkale 195,333 159,578 156,827 2,751 108,586 69.24 48,241 30.76 81.7
Kırklareli 251,751 220,111 216,797 3,314 55,542 25.62 161,255 74.38 87.43
Kırşehir 156,339 125,002 122,527 2,475 71,258 58.16 51,269 41.84 79.96
Kocaeli 1,071,556 864,871 848,323 16,548 516,533 60.89 331,790 39.11 80.71
Konya 1,327,534 1,117,186 1,096,922 20,264 857,167 78.14 239,755 21.86 84.15
Kütahya 418,071 372,393 364,178 8,215 272,217 74.75 91,961 25.25 89.07
Malatya 497,796 413,038 408,425 4,613 307,133 75.20 101,292 24.80 82.97
Manisa 960,069 829,573 810,917 18,656 402,626 49.65 408,291 50.35 86.41
Mardin 385,674 165,856 157,664 8,192 147,344 93.45 10,320 6.55 43.0
Mersin 1,123,115 818,141 804,397 13,744 299,004 37.17 505,393 62.83 72.85
Muğla 593,187 492,611 483,363 9,248 149,763 30.98 333,600 69.02 83.04
Muş 208,405 112,730 107,806 4,924 99,403 92.21 8,403 7.79 54.09
Nevşehir 196,436 167,489 164,404 3,085 111,049 67.55 53,355 32.45 85.26
Niğde 219,841 180,549 176,310 4,239 107,474 60.96 68,836 39.04 82.13
Ordu 508,677 400,122 391,422 8,700 248,557 63.50 142,865 36.50 78.66
Osmaniye 308,075 255,251 250,480 4,771 133,827 53.43 116,653 46.57 82.85
Rize 229,426 180,309 177,369 2,940 134,961 76.09 42,408 23.91 78.59
Sakarya 612,621 505,267 496,127 9,140 333,871 67.30 162,256 32.70 82.48
Samsun 874,952 722,865 709,959 12,906 476,774 67.16 233,185 32.84 82.62
Şanlıurfa 827,755 566,395 556,434 9,961 523,882 94.15 32,552 5.85 68.43
Siirt 150,645 76,648 72,342 4,306 68,845 95.17 3,497 4.83 50.88
Sinop 149,452 124,319 121,213 3,106 73,262 60.44 47,951 39.56 83.18
Şırnak 197,046 44,326 37,749 6,577 33,626 89.08 4,123 10.92 22.5
Sivas 429,921 355,596 350,504 5,092 268,472 76.60 82,032 23.40 82.71
Tekirdağ 567,415 465,412 458,124 7,288 158,825 34.67 299,299 65.33 82.02
Tokat 423,544 359,680 353,708 5,972 228,442 64.58 125,266 35.42 84.92
Trabzon 543,650 428,766 421,131 7,635 288,911 68.60 132,220 31.40 78.87
Tunceli 56,409 37,918 37,260 658 7,072 18.98 30,188 81.02 67.22
Uşak 245,586 216,999 211,620 5,379 105,355 49.78 106,265 50.22 88.36
Van 530,745 231,449 220,748 10,701 208,501 94.45 12,247 5.55 43.61
Yalova 148,306 115,990 113,885 2,105 58,304 51.20 55,581 48.80 78.21
Yozgat 319,155 257,444 253,675 3,769 196,153 77.32 57,522 22.68 80.66
Zonguldak 455,043 380,435 369,517 10,918 184,931 50.05 184,586 49.95 83.6
Customs 2,556,335 196,299 194,737 1,562 119,817 61.53 74,920 38.47 7.68
Turkey 52,051,828 38,369,165 37,643,313 725,852 21,788,272 57.88 15,855,041 42.12 73.71
Source: Government of Turkey, Supreme Election Board (YSK) (12 September 2010). "Official Results – 12 September 2010 Constitutional Referendum" (Website). Yüksek Seçim Kurulu. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 

Voting Irregularities[edit]

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the opposition represented by the Republican People's Party (CHP), couldn't vote because of a mix-up over where he should cast his ballot. "It was my responsibility to check the register of electors, but I could not do it due to my intense referendum campaign," he said. [21] [22]

Reactions[edit]

Domestic[edit]

  • Justice and Development Party (AK Party) – Following the announcement of the results, Prime Minister Erdoğan said the state had "crossed a historic threshold toward advanced democracy and the supremacy of law."[3]
  • Republican People's Party (CHP) – Pointing to the 42% of voters who said "No" at the referendum, Kılıçdaroğlu said such a figure could not be underestimated and his party had a major role in reaching such a rate. "When we look at the result, we see that the Justice and Development Party has taken a very important step towards creating a judiciary mechanism that is entirely dependent on itself," Kılıçdaroğlu said. He also added Erdoğan administration was seeking dangerous levels of control over the country's judiciary, with two of the 26 approved amendments allegedly giving excessive influence to the government over the courts.[3]
  • Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) – Having been the first to publish a written statement, party leader Devlet Bahçeli claimed that with the constitutional amendments which will serve the backdoor intentions of the AK Party to create a sectarian judiciary being approved by the Turkish nation, Turkey was dragged into the Dark Ages littered with dangers and vital threats, adding that bad days are ahead.[23]

International[edit]

The result of the referendum was welcomed by a number of international observers.

  •  European Union – The Enlargement Commissioner in the European Union, Štefan Füle, said: "As we consistently said in the past months, these reforms are a step in the right direction as they address a number of long-standing priorities in Turkey's efforts towards fully complying with the accession criteria."[24] The European Parliamentary deputy Richard Howitt, spoke for the European Parliament's Socialist and Democrat Group when he declared his support for the referendum results. "The unexpectedly large 'yes' vote in Turkey's constitutional referendum is a sign of the population's support for reforms that will prepare the country for European Union membership." He also said it would be a blow to European critics who suggested Turkey does not have the political will to make the necessary reforms to join the EU. He also supported calls to draw up a new constitution through cross-party consensus.[25]
  •  GermanyForeign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued a statement saying "I welcome the success of the referendum," "The reform of the constitution is another important step by Turkey on the road towards Europe."[26]
  •  Greece – Prime Minister George Papandreou called his Turkish counterpart to congratulate him for the government's success in Sunday's referendum on the constitutional amendment package. Greek Foreign Minister declared that the results of the referendum are a 'clear choice' and 'strong signal of support for the reforms promoted by Tayyip Erdoğan. "The Turkish people reaffirmed its commitment to the European perspective."[27]
  •  Italy – Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has called the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan to congratulate him for the "brilliant success" of the approval of the constitutional referendum and that there will be soon a bilateral summit between the two countries.[29]
  •  Kosovo – Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi has made a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to congratulate him and in which Erdoğan expressed Turkey's continued willingness to support the Republic of Kosovo.[30]
  •  Lebanon – Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri telephoned his Turkish counterpart and congratulated him for the results of the referendum.[31] Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri sent a telegram stating that this is a "historical and democratic victory" for Turkey and hoping that this referendum would be a lesson for democracy in the Middle East.[32]
  •  Pakistan – Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on telephone and congratulated him on victory in the referendum held on 12 Sept. He said," the results of referendum show the confidence of Turkish people in the dynamic leadership and pro-people policies of Mr. Erdoğan". He further said that the results were clear manifestation of the proof that democracy and democratic norms have strengthened to bring about changes for betterment of the people. The Prime Minister also expressed gratitude for assistance of the Turkish government and the people through Turkish Red Crescent for the victims of the 2010 Pakistan floods.[33]
  •  SpainForeign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said the referendum sent a "clear signal of Turkey's European vocation and it demonstrates the commitment of the Turkish authorities to modernize the political and social institutions." "And although some countries still have doubts and reluctance, I believe that in the end logic will prevail," Moratinos told reporters ahead of a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels.[35]
  •  SwedenForeign Minister Carl Bildt said: "This opens the European door, even though it will take time to take that step." With the referendum, Turkey "paves the way for a more open and democratic evolution of the country."[37]
  •  United States – President Barack Obama also welcomed the results and called the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to congratulate him and "acknowledged the vibrancy of Turkey's democracy as reflected in the turnout for the referendum."[24]

Aftermath[edit]

The Human Rights Association launched a petition to try Kenan Evren, the now retired general, over his role in the 1980 coup, as Evren defended the coup, saying military intervention was needed to bring an end to years of violence between leftist and rightist factions.

Hüseyin Çelik, the deputy chairman of the AK Party, said the party's agenda would now be to work on a new constitution after the 2011 elections.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b (Turkish) Government of Turkey, Supreme Election Board (YSK) (12 September 2010). "Official Results – 12 September 2010 Constitutional Referendum" (Website). 
  2. ^ a b c d Turkey backs constitutional changes BBC News. 12 September 2010. Retrieved on 12 September 2010.
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  5. ^ a b Schedule of referendum to be set after Constitutional amendment published in Official Gazette. The Free Library. 12 May 2010. Retrieved on 12 September 2010.
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  7. ^ Turkey’s constitutional groundshift EuroNews. 9 September 2010. Retrieved on 12 September 2010.
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  10. ^ a b c Government of Turkey, Prime Ministry; translated by Secretariat General for European Union Affairs (19 August 2010). Law No 5982 Amending Certain Provisions of the Constitution (pdf). Secretariat General for European Union Affairs. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Factbox: Turkey's constitutional amendments". Reuters. 12 September 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  12. ^ Sağam, Fazıl (1 September 2010). "Orhan Pamuk ve Referandum". Hakimiyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  13. ^ Turkish constitutional reform package goes to final round, Hürriyet Daily News. 29 April 2010.
  14. ^ Pro-democracy NGO calls reform package a major step for democracy, Today's Zaman. 25 March 2010.
  15. ^ Opposition vows to challenge reforms after Turkish president signs package, Hürriyet Daily News. 12 May 2010.
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  17. ^ Turks May Vote `No' in Referendum on Constitution Next Month, Poll Says, Bloomberg. 11 August 2010
  18. ^ Poll shows most Turks back reforms, Al Jazeera. 11 September 2010.
  19. ^ Financial Times Retrieved on 12 September 2010.
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External links[edit]