Erdogan struck a conciliatory tone while speaking to reporters in Istanbul about the referendum results on Sunday night(Ass0ciated Press)

ISTANBUL (AP) — The Latest on the referendum in Turkey, set to decide whether more power should be concentrated in the hands of the president (all times local): 10:20 p.m. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says unofficial results show a referendum that will significantly expand the presidency’s powers winning with a margin of 1.3 million votes.Supporters of the «Yes» vote, raise flags during celebrations in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday, April 16, 2017(See picture). With four-fifths of the ballots counted in Turkey’s historic referendum, those who back constitutional changes greatly expanding President Erdogan’s powers have a 6-point lead, the official Anadolu news agency said.

Thanked all Voters

Erdogan struck a conciliatory tone while speaking to reporters in Istanbul about the referendum results on Sunday night. He thanked all voters regardless of how they cast their ballots and described the referendum as a «historic decision.»According to results carried Sunday by the state-run Anadolu news agency, the «yes» vote had about 51.3 percent compared to 48.7 percent for the «no» vote with nearly 99 percent of the vote counted.

Lively Political Debate

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff says the close outcome for Turkey’s constitutional referendum shows there is «lively political debate» in the country. Peter Altmaier told ARD television on Sunday: «I think what we can say this evening is that the result was closer than some people feared.»

Altmaeier says it’s too early to say more because the vote count has not been finalized. He noted that election observers still have to deliver their opinion of the election. Meanwhile, a prominent Turkish journalist now based in Germany is calling the close outcome a «lesson» for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Can Dundar, former editor-in-chief of Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper, was convicted of revealing state secrets but left for Germany after he was freed on appeal. Dundar says a narrow win «is not good» for Erdogan and «a kind of lesson, and I hope he will get this lesson.»

Decleared victory

Turkey’s prime minister has declared a victory based on unofficial results for backers of a referendum to greatly expand the powers of the country’s president.

Results carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency showed the «yes» vote had about 51.3 percent compared to 48.7 percent for the «no» vote with nearly 99 percent of the vote counted.

Addressing thousands of flag-waving supporters on Sunday night, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the «unofficial’ final result is ‘yes'» for the constitutional referendum.

Yildirim spoke on the balcony of his governing AK Party headquarters in Ankara, addressing a crowd of about 3,000 people who waved flags and chanted the name of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

«New Turkey»

Turkey’s foreign minister has hailed his government’s narrow win in a referendum as the birth of a «new Turkey»

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a group of supporters in his hometown of Antalya on Sunday: «As of now, there is a truly new Turkey. There will be stability and trust in the new Turkey.»

With more than 97 percent of votes counted Sunday, 51.4 percent of voters backed the constitutional changes that usher in a new political system that greatly expands the powers of the president.

The changes doing away with Turkey’s parliamentary system of government constitute one of the most radical political reforms since the Turkish republic was established in 1923.

Stronger Precidency

The leader of Turkey’s main nationalist party has declared victory for the referendum to expand the powers of the country’s presidency.

Nationalist Action Party head Devlet Bahceli said in a statement that Turkish voters chose of their free will to move the country from a parliamentary to a presidential system of government.

Bahceli called the outcome «a very important success; a win that makes neglect and denial impossible.»

He says Turkey rejected international «pressure, blackmail, imposition, force and threats by the whole world to put the ‘no’ choice forward.»

The party, the fourth largest in parliament, backed Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the governing Justice and Development Party in their push to change Turkey’s parliamentary system into a presidential one.

Will claim 37 Per Cent

Turkey’s main opposition party says it will challenge 37 percent of the ballot boxes counted in Turkey’s referendum to increase the president’s powers.

Republic People’s Party, or CHP, Deputy Chairman Erdal Aksunger predicted that the figure could even increase to 60 percent, according to Associated Press.

President Erdogan won Turkish Electrion(Photo: AP)

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