Turkey referendum on constitutional reforms set for April 16

Turkey's electoral board has confirmed April 16 as the date of a national referendum on constitutional reforms aimed at creating a powerful presidency.

The High Electoral Board chief Sadi Guven says the date was determined following the publication of the bill Saturday on Turkey's Official Gazette.

The reforms would grant the president the power to appoint government ministers and senior officials, dissolve parliament, declare states of emergency, issue decrees and appoint half of the members in the country's highest judicial body.

The proposal would also increase the number of parliamentarians from 550 to 600 and lowers the age of eligibility for parliamentary office from 25 to 18.