Turkey election chief confirms 'Yes' camp win

Turkey election chief confirms 'Yes' camp win
Turkey's election commission confirmed the victory of the 'Yes' camp backing greater powers for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sunday's referendum.
2 min read
17 April, 2017
The 'Yes' camp backing greater powers for President Erdogan has won [Anadolu]

The 'Yes' camp backing greater powers for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emerged victorious from a landmark referendum, the head of the election commission confirmed on Sunday.

"According to the results, it is the 'Yes' that has emerged" victorious, said Supreme Election Board (YSK) chief Sadi Guven, adding that final results would be issued in the next 11 days.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had declared the victory in unofficial results earlier on Sunday.

"The presidential system, according to unofficial results, has been confirmed with a 'Yes' vote," Yildirim told flag-waving supporters from the balcony of the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara. 

"This is a decision made by the people. In our democracy's history, a new page has opened with this vote.

"There are no losers in this referendum, the winner is Turkey, the winner is the dear people."

Turkey's two main opposition parties earlier said they would challenge the results.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party said it would challenge two-thirds of ballots cast.

In a remark apparently directed at those disappointed by the close result, Yildirim said "no one's heart should be broken".

The bitterly-fought campaign saw both sides throwing accusations at each other with Erdogan suggesting links between those voting 'No' and militants, terrorists as well as coup-plotters. 

Meanwhile, the main opposition party leader suggested last summer's failed coup was a "controlled" putsch.

"Now the time has come for solidarity, to be united, to be together, all of Turkey," Yildirim added.

"In the squares, different things were said, different things were explained to the nation, but the last word was from the people: they said 'Yes', they put a full stop here."

The 'Yes' campaign had won 51.3 percent of the vote while the 'No' campaign had mustered 48.7 percent, the election commission said in figures quoted by state news agency Anadolu, in a count based on 99 percent of the ballot boxes.