Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cast his ballot in Istanbul in a referendum he described as a “not an ordinary vote.”
Speaking to reporters after voting، Erdogan said: “We have held referendums before. But this referendum is now about a new administrative system for the Republic of Turkey، it’s a choice for change and transformation.”
“We need to make a decision that is beyond the ordinary،” he said، adding that he hopes the nation will make the “expected” decision.
“I believe in my nation’s democratic common sense،” he said.
Bodyguards with automatic weapons stood guard outside the polling station as the president and his wife Emine Erdogan cast their ballots. Two of their grandchildren accompanied the couple.
Scores gathered to greet the president and snap pictures outside the polling station. Noteworthy، Turks cast their votes in a referendum on Sunday that could place sweeping new powers in the hands of President Tayyip Erdogan and herald the most radical change to the country's political system in its modern history.
Opinion polls have given a narrow lead for a "Yes" vote، which would replace Turkey's parliamentary democracy with an all-powerful presidency and may see Erdogan in office until at least 2029.
The outcome will also shape Turkey's strained relations with the European Union. The NATO member state has curbed the flow of migrants - mainly refugees from wars in Syria and Iraq - into the bloc but Erdogan says he may review the deal after the vote.