Turkey's Constitutional Referendum Scheduled to be held on Sunday April 16,2017
The proposed constitutional amendments seek to transform Turkey's political system into an executive presidential one, significantly empowering the top office, while abolishing the prime ministry, which holds the main executive power in the current system as the head of the cabinets
The constitutional changes are backed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) he founded and the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP), whose support at parliament was key to take the proposal to a public vote.
The MHP has been going through an internal fragmentation since their leadership decided to back the proposed constitutional amendments. Various senior MPs, who entered the parliament under the party's banner, campaign for "No".
The AK Party carries the whole "Yes" campaign, with very limited and separate appearances from the MHP, the smallest of the four parties represented in the parliament.
The two parties argue the new system will prevent a return to fragile parliamentary coalitions at a time when the country is facing challenges such as multiple security concerns, an influx of Refugees from Syria and the fallout from a failed coup, which led to an ongoing state of emergency across the country
Vehicles of rival campaigns wander the streets of Istanbul as they blast their propaganda songs calling on Turkey's citizens to vote on their side in the upcoming referendum on April 16.
Only days left to the key vote, "Yes" and "No" camps campaign at full speed in the 15 million megalopolis in a last ditch effort to convince Turks before they vote to accept or reject the proposed constitutional changes that might deeply change how Turkey is governed.
The "Yes" camp seeks support for what they say is a "more stable" and "secure" Turkey under a new system. The "No" camp believes the changes will lead to a "one-man rule" that will undermine Turkey's democratic institutions and lead to arbitrary governance
"No" campaign, mainly carried out by the main opposition centre-left Republican People's Party (CHP), argues that the proposed changes will degrade separation of powers and governmental checks and balances in Turkey by giving one individual too much power.
The supporters of the CHP play anthems and promo songs across Istanbul referring to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of modern Turkey, as they wave national flags and hand out leaflets calling for rejection of what they say will be the end of democracy in the country.
"Power, without any checks, would be disastrous. Democracy's existential goal is not to leave power unchecked," CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu recently said at a rally
There are millions of Turks living in Europe, mainly in Germany, France and the Netherlands, who might end up determining the outcome of the referendum.
Turkish citizens living abroad cast their votes at Turkish diplomatic missions between March 27 and April 09,2017