Turkey’s narrow approval of a historic referendum will add to the already significant powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and could signal trouble ahead for the Middle Eastern nation, experts told ABC News.
The referendum approved Sunday included 18 constitutional amendments, including abolishing the office of prime minister, which will eliminate a critical counterbalance to Erdogan’s power. The changes will take effect after the next election in 2019.
The measure’s approval will also weaken the country’s parliament and give Erdogan increased authority in picking judges and ministers, according to experts who spoke to ABC News.
Stronger, but weaker too
Despite the boost to Erdogan’s power, the vote on the referendum signaled a decrease in his overall popularity in Turkey, according to Gönül Tol, founding director of The Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies in Washington, D.C.
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