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Three killed in tense scenes at Turkey’s polling stations

The vote to replace the parliamentary system with an executive presidency was closely contested.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) delivers a speech to supporters in Istanbul, on April 16, 2017, after the results of a nationwide referendum that will determine Turkey's future. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Three people have been killed amid tense scenes at polling stations in Turkey, where up to 55 million people have voted on granting the country’s president sweeping new powers.

Tayyip Erdogan’s supporters say the victory will modernise the country, but his opponents fear he’ll become an authoritarian leader of a fiercely nationalist and conservative country.

Since last July’s failed coup, tens of thousands of people have been arrested and at least 100,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs.

Under President Erdogan, Turks have been living in a very different society since then.

It was against this backdrop and under a state of emergency that Erdogan’s fiercely nationalist agenda has won through.

The vote to replace the parliamentary system with an executive presidency was closely contested, but his victory could see him remain in power until 2029.

The Opposition Party is challenging the result.
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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