President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday the “Yes” vote on the presidential system has resolved a 200-year-old conflict in its administration with the results in favor of a presidential system.
It is “a major sign that our nation is protecting its future”, Erdogan said in a post-referendum speech at Huber Palace in Istanbul.
“That decision was no ordinary one. Today is the day when a change, a decision to shift to a truly serious administrative system was made,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said 25 million “Yes” votes were cast for a 1.3-million vote margin of victory, according to unofficial results.
“I would like to thank all our citizens, regardless of how they voted, who went to the polling stations to protect their national will.”
Erdogan pointed out that Turkey “has the power to overcome all kinds of problems, difficulties and crises” and the attempted coup last July was the last clear example of it.
Erdogan said Turkey changed its governmental system through civilian means for the first time in its republic history.
“For the first time in its history, Turkey has decided such an important change by the will of its national assembly and people,” Erdogan said. “In the past, our constitutions and the governmental systems formed by these [constitutions] had been decided either in extraordinary conditions like our independence war or during coup times. For first time in republic history, Turkey changed governmental system through civilian means.”
Erdogan underlined that the new presidential system “separates executive, legislature and judiciary” bodies.
“These three organs will serve collaboratively for the the same common goal, that is, one nation, flag and state.
Erdogan said April 16 was a victory for “all ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ supporters, all of Turkey with 80 million population and 780,000 square kilometers [485,000 miles].
“Our citizens abroad are also a significant part of this victory,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said the new system of government will be enacted after elections in 2019.
“All articles of the constitutional change will not go in effect soon. Especially, the changes related to the presidential system will be enacted after Nov. 3, 2019, elections.
“There are lots of things that needs to be carried out till that time. Because all of those who will seek the governing seat of this country needs to appear in front of our nation well-prepared.”
Erdogan called on the other countries to respect the results.
“We expect other countries and institutions to respect our [Turkish] nation’s decision. We expect especially the countries we see as our allies to tune their ties with our country in line with our fight against terrorism and sensitivities of Turkey,” Erdogan added.
*Reporting by Hanife Sevinc; Writing by Sibel Ugurlu