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Turkey moves full throttle toward one-party state

Turkey’s authoritarian shift may be institutionalized in a matter of months, as few obstacles remain before a referendum on a presidential system.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan attends a Republic Day ceremony at Anitkabir, the mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk, to mark the republic's anniversary in Ankara, Turkey, October 29, 2016.  REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTX2QXOM

The political mercury in Turkey is expected to hit record highs in April, when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) plans to put a crucial constitutional amendment on a referendum. Given the current political and social trends, the electorate is highly likely to approve the amendment and mark Turkey’s transition to an executive presidency regime — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s biggest dream.

To come true directly in parliament, this dream requires support from at least 367 deputies in the 550-member legislature. The AKP, however, holds only 317 seats, which brings up the referendum option. For that, too, the AKP needs support from the opposition since constitutional amendments require the approval of at least 330 lawmakers to be put on a referendum.

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