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Evet or Hayir?

Yes or No?

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Since deciding to come to Turkey, I've been interested in the current events and politics of the country. It's actually quite a pivotal time for Turkish peoples' future. There is a referendum that people are voting on today that was proposed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, whose AKP (Justice and Development Party) has been in power for about 8 years.

The referendum proposes some changes to the constitution including "amendments to the country's judicial system, curbs on the power of military courts and an article abolishing the immunity currently enjoyed by the leaders of the 1980 (military) coup. Other measures would guarantee gender equality and put in place measures to protect children, the elderly and the disabled."

Throughout the city these past couple weeks I've seen loads of political banners, rallies and protests. Those in favor shouting "EVET", with pictures of Erdogan as a backdrop, and "HAYIR", for those opposed. It's a complex issue but from what I've gathered talking to people is that those voting no to passing the referendum are afraid of losing the secular principles that modern Turkey was founded on. The changes to the constitution would give the AKP party, widely known as being more Islamic, what some believe as unchecked power. Here are some articles about it if you're interested in reading about the referendum:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/09/12/turkey.referendum/?hpt=T2#fbid=wXx80kBuhBn&wom=false

http://english.aljazeera.net/video/europe/2010/09/201091244237769389.html

Whatever the turnout, I'm sure there will be a lot of activity on Istiklal Street and Taksim Square, some of the main meeting areas in the city, and right down the street from me.

Posted by jhl5006 02:39 Archived in Turkey

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