The Daily Shot, Ricochet, April 18, 2017
On Sunday, Turkey voted in a referendum to approve 18 proposed constitutional amendments. The gist of these amendments is to abolish the prime ministership and replace the current parliamentary system with an executive presidency. Turnout was high, and the vote was close, with 51.41 percent approving the measure. President Erdoğan will now have additional powers, many previously belonging to other state institutions, with few checks on those powers.
Turkey has been operating under a state of emergency since the failed coup attempt in July and while election monitors from the Council of Europe found no specific instances of electoral fraud, the deck was stacked in favor of Erdoğan. Not only did “Yes” votes dominate media coverage, but unfriendly media outlets were shuttered and journalists were arrested. Turkey’s two main opposition parties have already called for the vote to be annulled. And criticism has come in from around the world.
Erdoğan has responded to the latter by saying to a crowd of supporters yesterday, “The crusader mentality in the West and its servants at home have attacked us.” So, yeah, that happened. By the way, in case you forgot, this is the President of a NATO ally saying this.
Oh, one more thing. That state of emergency? Yesterday it was extended for three more months.