Recep Tayyip Erdogan

As a constitutional referendum looms, some in Turkey say Erdogan is steering the country toward autocracy

As a constitutional referendum looms, some in Turkey say Erdogan is steering the country toward autocracy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s long-held dream of expanded powers and up to 10 more years in office will soon go before voters. But the proposed constitutional changes, which would usher in a presidential system, with a weak parliament, no prime minister and a subservient judiciary, have divided the country and embittered his critics.

Parliament, which Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party dominates, endorsed the package Jan. 19, in effect voting to strip itself of power, and election authorities set April 16 as the date for a nationwide referendum.

There hasn’t been much public discussion, and when it begins, Erdogan has seen to it that...

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