Results of previous constitutional referendums in Turkey
ISTANBULTurkey is voting in a constitutional referendum that will decide whether to replace the current parliamentary system with an executive presidency.
The vote on April 16 is the seventh referendum in modern Turkish history. The results of previous referendums are as follows:
- 1961 constitutional referendum: The constitution drafted after the military coup of May 27, 1960 was voted on in a referendum on July 8, 1961. The outcome was 61.7 percent “yes” and 38.3 percent “no.”
- 1982 constitutional referendum: The constitution drafted by the Sept. 12, 1980 military regime was put before the populace on Nov. 7, 1982. The outcome was 91.4 percent “yes” and 8.6 percent “no.”
- 1987 constitutional referendum: The 1982 Constitution imposed a political ban on politicians who were active before the Sept. 12 coup. The amendment to lift this political ban was submitted to the public on July 12, 1987. The outcome was 50.16 percent in favor of lifting the ban and 49.84 percent against.
- 1988 referendum: Local elections were set to be held on March 26, 1989 but then-Prime Minister Turgut Özal wanted to move the date polls date up to Nov. 13, 1988. Turkey’s fourth referendum was thus on a constitutional change to allow the election to move to the earlier date. The opposition transformed the referendum into a vote of confidence for Özal and won, receiving 65 percent of valid votes on Sept. 25, 1988 against 35 percent for the “yes” side.
- 2007 referendum: The referendum held on Oct. 21, 2007 primarily addressed whether the president should be elected directly by the public or by parliament. The voters said “yes” to electing the president, lowering the minimum valid threshold for MPs in a parliamentary session to 184, and reducing the legislative year to four years instead of five. The “yes” side received 68.95 percent of the votes while the “no” side drew 31.05 percent.
- 2010 constitutional referendum: An amendment that introduced massive changes to the justice system in Turkey was voted on Sept. 12, 2010. The outcome was 57.88 percent in favor of the judicial changes and 42.12 percent against.