Campaigning for Turkey referendum hits final stretch

A bar in Beşikta

President Erdogan was holding his final rally in Istanbul and said he was confident of victory.

It said they were acting on intelligence of a planned "sensational" attack on Sunday's tightly contested referendum. Turkey is heading to a contentious April 16 referendum. Turkey is heading to a con.

Other employees seemed well aware of what was at stake in the referendum and that the eyes of the world are now on Turkey.

The people of Turkey will go to the polls on Sunday to vote for the constitutional amendments. Inmates - except for the criminals who are convicted for intentional crime - will also be able to vote at 463 polling stations located inside state prisons.

Interactive: How will Turkey change if it votes "Yes" on April 16? .

The ballot paper is simply divided into a "yes" and a "no" section. "People believe no matter whether they vote "yes" or "no", that "yes" will win".

Polls open at 7:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) and close at 4:00 p.m. (1300 GMT) Sunday in 32 eastern provinces, and open and close an hour later in the rest of the country.

While he wants economic relations to continue, Turkey's stalled talks about joining the European Union look even more doubtful as does the deal to curb the flow of refugees from Syria travelling on to Europe.

The constitutional changes proposed in the referendum would consolidate power in his hands. The Trump administration, which has allied with the PKK's Syrian affiliate in the battle against Islamic State extremists in Syria, has delayed its decision on a military plan to capture Raqqa, the self-declared Islamic State capital, until after the referendum.

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Technically, it's about whether to shift from a parliamentary to a presidential system, reports CNBC. The ruling party argues however that the reforms, which require courts to be "impartial" - and not just "independent" - will strengthen the judiciary.

The current setup requires the president to be nonpartisan.

The president can be elected for two consecutive five-year terms. Vice presidents and ministers, but not the president, could still receive written parliamentary questions. The parliament would not be able to bring down a government or a minister in a vote of no confidence. Erdogan resigned from the party when he became president.

Presidential and legislative elections would be held at the same time. Under the new powers, the president could pass decrees with the force of law independently of parliament.

The reforms would increase the number of seats in parliament from the current 550 to 600.

He would also be allowed to take on a formal role in his ruling Justice and Development Party, giving him more power over its parliamentarians.

Ali Narin of the CHP opposition party said: "There are many people from different political views who've come together to support the no vote".

The opposition has complained of a lopsided campaign, with Erdogan using the full resources of the state and the governing party to dominate the airwaves and blanket the country with pro-"yes" campaign posters.

Opponents say it is a step towards greater authoritarianism in a country where 40,000 people were arrested and 120,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs in a crackdown following a failed coup attempt against Erdogan last July. Tens of thousands have been jailed, including dozens of journalists, and media outlets have been closed down. He also appealed to voters of other parties to approve the changes so that "Turkey can leap into the future".

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