Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Erdogan pulls it off

September 13, 2010

Turkey’s mildly Islamist Justice and Development (AK) party has won a ringing endorsement from voters in a bitterly contested referendum on constitutional changes that are poised to raise democratic standards and further erode the powers of the country’s once omnipotent generals.

Final results show that 58% of Turks approved the government's proposed changes to the constitution, which was written by the army after it overthrew the government in 1980. Both government and opposition leaders cast the referendum as a vote of confidence in the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr Erdogan's AK party has governed Turkey since 2002, when it catapulted to single-party rule on a platform of democratic reform and market liberalisation.