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    Expert: AKP's high political rating played a key role in Turkish referendum- OPINION

    Results of referendum are not decisive in foreign policy vector of Ankara

    Baku. 17 April. REPORT.AZ/ A fairly high political rating of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ideological leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan played a key role in victory at the Turkish referendum, the independent Kazakh political scientist, candidate of political sciences Zohra Azizova told Report.

    On April 16, a referendum on a package of constitutional amendments was held. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won a historic referendum that will greatly expand the powers of his office.

    With 99 per cent of the ballots counted, the "yes" vote stood at 51.18% while turnout was 88,3%.

    "The victory was quite expected for both the AKP itself and for observers. First, a fairly high political rating of the Party and its ideological leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - about 50%.

    A powerful electoral campaign that went beyond the borders of the republic and turned to the large Turkish diaspora residing in European countries also demonstrated that the Turkish leadership is determined solely to win," Z. Azizova said.

    In her opinion, due to objective circumstances, the results of the people's will were already predetermined in advance.

    "At the same time, it is necessary to expect the development of the reaction of the Turkish opposition regarding the results of the referendum, which has already made accusations of mass falsifications and announced its intention to appeal results. Considering that a significant mass of the electorate - 49% - said “No” , it can be expected that the opposition forces will take actions aimed at strengthening the polarization of the Turkish society, for example, by organizing mass protest actions", political scientist said.

    Speaking about the reaction of European politicians to the results of the vote, she pointed out that the representative of the Christian Social Union of Germany Manfred Weber had already proposed the termination of negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU.

    "Such statements should be viewed in the vein of the pre-election rhetoric of European leaders on the eve of the parliamentary elections in Germany. It is not excluded that such statements will follow from other European states, especially after Erdoğan's intention to return the death penalty, which could later develop into another interstate polemic, " the analyst added.

    She also noted that the results of the referendum in Turkey are not decisive in the foreign policy vector of Ankara, therefore, it will not directly influence relations with neighboring countries.

    "Mostly, Recep Erdoğan will proceed from the current geopolitical situation in the region, as well as relations with NATO partners. This concerns first of all the process of the Syrian settlement", she concluded.

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