The results of the Turkish constitutional vote show a picture of a divided country, as the main cities and the territories with the most Kurdish citizens overwhelmingly chose no, but the rural Turkey outvoted them by a very tight margin. With 99.8% of the ballots counted, the results showed a 51.4% majority of the yes votes.
The results of the Turkish constitutional referendum by territory (source: Reuters)
Tayyip Erdogan declared victory shortly after the mathematical chance of a turnaround faded, while opposition parties voiced their suspicions regarding fraud. They plan to challenge up to one-third of the ballots, as a controversial last-moment decision by the electoral board approved unstamped ballots until they are proven fraudulent. Celebrations and protests both occurred in the streets of the major cities, but so far, there was no sign of violence between the opposing parties.
Financial markets showed a muted reaction to the results that were in line with the latest polls. The Turkish Lira opened the FX-week with a 3% gain, but the opening price is only a two-week high, barely visible compared to the long-term losses of the currency. Turkish stocks are also expected to rally following the decision, although investors might stay cautious if the fraud allegations lead to a re-count and further uncertainty. The country’s switch to a primarily presidential democratic model will be official after the 2019 elections, where Erdogan will be once again electable, thanks to the reset of the term-limits for the presidency.
The weak rally in the Turkish Lira