Turkish President Erdogan narrowly won a referendum yesterday, (Sunday 16th April 2017) that will allow him to expand presidential powers, which could keep him in office until 2029.
With 99.45% of ballots counted, the “Yes” campaign had won 51.37% and “No” 48.63%, and the electoral board called a victory for “Yes”.
There is talk of electorial fraud and the like, as there almost always is nowadays, but it is very unlikely that Erdogan’s victory will be overturned. We will see over the next few days or weeks how the opposition to Erdogan’s victory react and what action will be taken about the claims of electoral fraud.
What we can probably predict is that Erdogan’s victory in this referendum is likely to raise tensions in the region, not lower them.
Giving Erdogan more power is likely to see Turkey move more towards being an Islamic state. Is likely to make political relations header in Europe and lily to increase tension on the subject or Islamic immigration into Europe. Before the referendum, Turkey was threatening to flood Europe with a flood of refugees. While this is unlikely to be acted upon with any speed, we are likely to see an increase in this kind of radical rhetoric and threats.
The relationship between Turkey and NATO, (Turkey being a member of NATO), is likely to become more strained.
It was also reported that Erdogan’s son-in-law was involved in buying millions of dollars of oil from ISIS, thus funding much of their fight in recent years. (The Independent)
We are also likely to see an even more powerful crackdown on information and opposition to the Erdogan faction over the coming weeks and months.
With tension growing in Syria, North Korea and in the South China Sea… this referendum is unlikely to lower tensions around the world.