16 April 2017
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Sunday the Turkish nation gave its final word by voting Yes in the country’s constitutional referendum.
Speaking in Ankara, Yildirim said “I thank and express my gratitude to all our citizens who went to the ballot box with a high turnout, and who protected our democracy.”
“We have said different things in [rally] squares; we have voiced different things to the nation but the nation gave its final world by saying ‘Yes’.”
Yildirim congratulated over 1.2 million young people who went to the ballot box for the first time today.
He added, “There is no one who lost in this referendum, but the winner is Turkey, the winner is the nation.”
Saying that Turkey’s new government system would be put into practice in the 2019 general elections, Yildirim said: “Our nation made its choice, and it confirmed the presidential system.”
He added “This nation once again demonstrated that it will not bow down to any [military] domination, external intervention, or threat.”
Yildirim said that Turkey would protect its unity despite all its differences. “We surely have different opinions and different ideas for solutions, but we will gently protect our unity.”
The premier stressed: “Having different opinions never means getting the upper hand over another.”
With almost all the ballots counted in Turkey’s historic constitutional referendum Sunday, unofficial results showed ‘Yes’ won with 51.34 percent — 24,789,242 votes — while ‘No’ had 48.66 percent, or 23,499,390 votes.
Sunday’s referendum asked voters to choose Yes or No on an 18-article bill that would see the country switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, among other changes.