Turkey referendum: What are the main issues and process?

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The upcoming referendum on Sunday (April 16) in Turkey will decide the fate of the Turkish government system - from a democratic republican system to a strong and powerful presidential one. Over the past several months, the president has purged more than 100,000 public officials, including judges, prosecutors, police officers, civil servants, teachers and university rectors, accusing them of being aligned with Fethullah Gulen, a preacher who was once his ally but whom he now accuses of masterminding the July coup attempt.

The Idlib chemical attack on April 4 which killed more than 100 civilians and injured around 500 other people topped Thursday's discussion, a presidency source added. But presidential decrees will not be permitted on issues concerning human rights or basic freedoms, or to override existing laws.

Ahead of the vote, United Nations experts accused Turkey of "massive violations" of the right to education and work, citing figures suggesting that since the state of emergency was declared, some 134,000 public servants had been dismissed. Erdogan's supporters reject such charges, saying the 18 constitutional amendments being put to a simple "Yes/No" vote contain sufficient checks and balances, such as the provision that a new presidential election would be triggered should the president dissolve parliament.

The president would appoint an unlimited number of vice-presidents.

Referring the president to the country's top court for possible impeachment would require a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says the proposed Turkish-style presidential system will banish weak governments, establish an efficient state and bring prosperity to the country.

Ibrahim Kaboglu is a leading professor in constitutional law - he's deeply concerned about the repercussions of the referendum. The Supreme Board of Election has announced that 167,140 ballot boxes will be ready for voters; another 461 boxes have also been set up in prisons.

Turkish authorities had on Tuesday detained another 19 suspected IS supporters in the Aegean city of Izmir, accused of planning to sabotage the vote. Over a million registered citizens voted at 120 foreign missions in 57 countries. Nationalist votes will be crucial in ensuring a "Yes" vote in the referendum on Sunday on the constitution. For those who have missed the two-week election period, 120 boxes at 31 customs gates will be open for Turkish citizens living overseas until 5 p.m. on April 16.

"As a 48-year-old party, the MHP has always been here, it is the ideological base of Turkish nationalists, their political representative".

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