The outcome of Turkey's April 16 referendum wasn't exactly the victory President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was aiming for: clear support for constitutional amendments that would give him more executive power than even republic founder Kemal Ataturk had envisioned for himself. Dissent was strong in the country's largest cities, and European officials also have registered their disapproval.
Before the results were even announced, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim delivered the first victory speech of the night, not Erdogan himself. But with Erdogan's pragmatism, which for all practical purposes is necessary for his survival, he was quick to give a speech declaring victory, even as the results of the referendum were being contested with allegations of irregularities and fraud. Given the controversy of the neck-and-neck results blemished with the allegations of rigging, Erdogan couldn't resist — but he did not look confident or triumphant.