Turkish PM launches 'yes' campaign over Erdogan powers

AP News
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Posted: Feb 25, 2017 6:16 AM
Turkish PM launches 'yes' campaign over Erdogan powers

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's prime minister has officially launched his ruling party's campaign for a "yes" vote in a referendum on ushering a presidential system, which critics fear will concentrate too many powers in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Binali Yildirim formally got campaigning going on Saturday telling supporters in a sports arena that the proposed new system would build a strong Turkey capable of surmounting terror threats and make its economy more robust.

Yildirim said: "We are taking the first steps on the path of a future strong Turkey."

The proposed reforms — to be voted on April 16 — will give the largely ceremonial presidency executive powers and abolish the office of the prime minister.

Opponents say the proposed system foresees too few checks and balances on Erdogan's rule.