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Turkey: Referendum Result Marks Break with Past

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Behind a bust of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, voters gather at a polling station in Istanbul. (Photo: Jonathan Lewis)

Voters in Turkey gave strong backing to constitutional changes in a September 12 referendum. The result put the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) in a strong position heading into parliamentary elections next year, while perhaps signaling the end of an era in Turkey, one in which the military acted as the enforcer of secularism.

The vote, which occurred on the 30th anniversary of the country's last military coup, approved a series of constitutional changes by a 58 percent-42 percent margin. [For background see EurasiaNet's archive].

Turnout was reported at 77 percent, but in one area, a district in far eastern Turkey inhabited mainly by Kurds, only 4 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

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Jonathan Lewis is a freelance photojournalist based in Istanbul.

Turkey: Referendum Result Marks Break with Past

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