Turkish President insists constitutional reforms don’t make him ‘dictator’

Ankara [Turkey], April 19 : Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has insisted the new constitutional reforms in the country don't make him a dictator.

"Where dictatorships exist, you don't have to have a presidential system. Here we have a ballot box... the democracy gets its power from the people. It's what we call national will," CNN quoted Erdogan as saying in an interview. Erdogan succeeded in the referendum for constitutional reforms which would see the country switch from the Parliamentary to the Presidential system as 51.4 percent of voters supported the move.

Not only the result will give him new powers as the country's head of state, but will also extend his influence over the judiciary making him dominant over the Parliament.

Speaking about his victory in the referendum, Erdogan said that a win was always a win. Erdogan congratulated the heads of political parties, who supported him in the 'Yes' campaign during Sunday's referendum.

The President also thanked the voters. The 'Yes' campaign was backed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whereas the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) did not support it.

Erdogan was voted to power in August 2014, the first time a Turkish President had been directly chosen by the popular vote.

The referendum asked the voters to choose Yes or No on the 18-article bill. It was passed by the Parliament in January with 339 votes in favour. Other major changes include lowering the age to become a lawmaker to 18 from 25, increasing the number of seats in the Parliament from 550 to 600, closing down military courts and same-day parliamentary and presidential elections after every five years.

The country's current Constitution was formed in 1983 following a military coup in 1980..

Source: ANI