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Will presidential referendum save Turkey’s democracy?

A package of constitutional amendments that would dramatically expand the powers of Turkey’s president won the support of 339 deputies in the 550-member parliament Jan. 21, surpassing the 60% threshold (330 votes) required to submit the draft to a referendum.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses as he casts his ballot at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey November 1, 2015. Turks began voting on Sunday amid worsening security and economic worries in a snap parliamentary election that could profoundly impact the divided country's trajectory and that of President Tayyip Erdogan. The parliamentary poll is the second in five months, after the ruling AK Party founded by Erdogan failed to retain its single-party majority in June. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTX1U7U8Backed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its de facto partner, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), the bill is supposed to be put to a public vote within two months of the president’s approval, meaning…

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