Turkish PM launches ‘yes’ campaign over constitutional changes

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Turkey’s prime minister has officially launched his ruling party’s campaign for a “yes” vote in a referendum on ushering a presidential system.

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 changes, which would create an executive presidency for the first time in modern Turkey, are controversial and far-reaching.

The president would have the power to appoint and fire ministers, while the post of prime minister will be abolished for the first time in Turkey’s history and replaced by one or more vice presidents.

The public vote is likely to take place in April.

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