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International

Turkey heads to the polls in referendum on expanding Erdogan's powers

10:35, Sunday, 16 April, 2017
Turkey heads to the polls in referendum on expanding Erdogan's powers

Voting opened on Sunday in Turkey's tense referendum on constitutional amendments that could greatly expand the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
     Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. (0400 UTC) in the east of Turkey on Sunday and an hour later in the west. Voting will close at 5 p.m. (1400 UTC) with results expected during the evening hours.Over 55.3 million people are eligible to cast their ballots in 167,140 polling stations across the country on Sunday. Voters living abroad have already cast their ballots at Turkish diplomatic missions.
     The most recent opinion polls predict that the result will be close, but give a narrow lead for the "Yes" vote. Around 10 percent of voters were undecided a day before the vote.
     Security will be tight during Sunday's vote, with nearly 34,000 police on patrol in Istanbul alone. The militant "Islamic State" (IS) group has called for attacks against the referendum.

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