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The evolution of Turkey
 

Narrow win for Erdogan exposes deep division in Turkey

The opposition calls to invalidate the result of the constitutional referendum and the OSCE says it was not a “genuinely democratic process.” Christians in the country have been increasingly targeted under the pro-Muslim President.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus ANKARA 18 APRIL 2017 12:04 h GMT+1
Yes and no, in the Turkish referendum on April, 16. / EFE

After a long and messy campaign which deeply affected the relationship between Turkey and other countries in Europe, Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the constitutional referendum that will give him more powers.



On Sunday, 51.6% of the votes were in favour of changing 18 articles of the Constitution in order to technically suspend Turkey's separation of powers and give more powers to the President.



Turkey will become a Presidential republic and Erdogan could stay in power until 2029.



After the vote, Erdogan said: “The decision made by the Turkish public is a historic moment”.



Thousands joined demonstrations denouncing widespread irregularities. The main opposition parties called to invalidate the outcome.



 



OSCE: NOT A GENUINELY DEMOCRATIC PROCESS”



International observers said “the referendum took place on an unlevel playing field, and the two sides of the campaign did not have equal opportunities.”



In a statement released by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), experts said “the legal framework was inadequate for the holding of a genuinely democratic process.”



 



Turkish newspapers after Erdoga'ns victory. / AFP



“Our monitoring showed the ‘Yes’ campaign dominated the media coverage and this, along with restrictions on the media, the arrests of journalists and the closure of media outlets, reduced voters’ access to a plurality of views.”



 



CHRISTIANS AND THE ISLAMISATION OF TURKEY



Under Erdogan’s government, Christians in Turkey have lost freedoms.



The Turkish Association of Protestant Churches denounced Christians are increasingly targeted by officials.



Christian foreigners in the country have been expelled and a Protestant pastor has been arrested and charged with “terrorism.”


 


POLL
Freedoms
Should all religious groups in your country be legal?
Yes, religious freedom is for everyone.
73%
Yes, except those organisations experts have defined as cults.
21%
No, governments should be strict and only allow religious organisations with a long history.
6%
This Poll is closed.
Number of votes: 203
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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.