ISTANBUL – Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has started campaigning for constitutional reforms that would greatly expand the powers of his office, hours after a vote in parliament cleared the way for a national referendum on the issue.
Speaking in Istanbul on Saturday, he hailed the assembly's early-morning decision and said "God willing the people will give the true decision, the final decision" that he says would catapult Turkey to a stronger position.
After nearly two weeks of acrimonious debate, Turkey's parliament passed the constitutional reform package, which now needs to be approved in a referendum.
Supporters say the changes would strengthen Turkey, opponents say it entrenches one-man rule.
A public vote on the issue is expected by mid-April, according to officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP.